The report, which provides an outlook on Asia-Pacific real estate investment and development trends, said the economic problems in the US and Europe “are weighing upon local economies across the Asia-Pacific region as well as the investor sentiment in Asia and Australian real estate markets”
New Delhi: Delhi and Mumbai have slipped in an Asia-Pacific (APAC) real estate investment opportunities list for 2012 owing to economic and inflationary issues, reports PTI quoting a joint report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC.
The report, titled, ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia-Pacific 2012’, found Delhi and Mumbai dropped from fifth and third place in last year’s list of real estate investment prospects to 12th and 15th position, respectively, in 2012.
However, Bangalore maintained its position as the 10th most favoured investment destination in the Asia-Pacific real estate space.
“Bangalore continues to be a stable play. It never crashed when the sub-prime crisis hit and it didn’t rocket up even when the markets were doing well in 2006-07. It's a very organic, growth-driven market,” the report noted.
In terms of development prospects, Bangalore gained two positions to rank seventh in 2012, while Mumbai dropped dramatically from first to 10th place and Delhi fell from second to 13th place.
The report said vacancy rates are likely to remain stable in Mumbai in 2012. Furthermore, while absorption will be positive again, rental values remain questionable, as economic and inflationary issues linger.
About Delhi, the report said, “Inflation has continued to spike costs and it may not be economically feasible to build there... Ongoing funding problems do provide investment opportunities for private equity investors.”
The report said, “India’s economy continues to produce the second-fastest growing gross domestic product in the Asia-Pacific region, just behind China, but developers face great difficulty raising capital through the nation’s banking system.”
“Within the country, investment prospects are brightest for Bangalore; however, respondents noted concern about the economy in general. Rankings plummeted for New Delhi and Mumbai, both affected by inflation concerns,” it added.
Meanwhile on the Asia-Pacific level, Singapore and Shanghai have retained their first and second ranking, respectively, as property investment hotbeds.
Sydney replaced Mumbai as the third-most preferred destination, followed by the fast-growing Chinese city of Chongqing and Beijing.
In the development category, Shanghai bagged the third rank, followed by Chongqing, Beijing and Jakarta.
The report, which provides an outlook on Asia-Pacific real estate investment and development trends, said the economic problems in the US and Europe “are weighing upon local economies across the Asia-Pacific region as well as the investor sentiment in Asia and Australian real estate markets.”
The study, which is based on the opinions of more than 360 internationally-renowned real estate professionals, including investors and developers, noted that overall, respondents were slightly less positive about the outlook for Asia-Pacific countries than a year ago.
The Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body of the ministry, has submitted its report on spectrum and licensing-related issues to telecom minister Kapil Sibal, who will take a decision on them soon
New Delhi: The telecom ministry will soon take a decision on a controversial one-time charge for extra spectrum held by old operators and a host of other issues, including mergers and auction, spectrum pricing and auctions, on the basis of the Telecom Commission’s recommendations, reports PTI.
According to sources, the Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body of the ministry, has submitted its report on spectrum and licensing-related issues to telecom minister Kapil Sibal, who will take a decision on them soon.
In December last year, the Telecom Commission had recommended a uniform licence fee of 8% of adjusted gross revenues, as against the existing 6%-10%, depending upon the type of service and circle.
The telecom industry was demanding a lower licence fee of 6% of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) while sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended a fee of 8% of AGR.
In addition, the old GSM operators have been opposing a one-time charge for extra spectrum held by them beyond 6.2 MHz, saying the allocation of airwaves was as per the policy of the government from time-to-time.
The commission had also accepted TRAI’s recommendations on mergers and acquisitions in the telecom space. TRAI had recommended that if an entity, post-merger or acquisition, has up to a 35% market share, it would be considered in the ‘green line’ or safe harbour and no government intervention would be required.
However, in case a merged entity has a market share above 35%, but less than 60%, the proposal would be referred to TRAI, which will carry out detailed examination to ensure that there is no abuse of market dominance.
On the controversial issue of a one-time charge for extra spectrum held by incumbent GSM operators, the Telecom Commission had said the charge will not be ruled out.
TRAI had recommended that each Mhz of additional spectrum held by operators above 6.2 MHz should entail a one-time cost of Rs4,571.87 crore pan-India.
The commission has recommended that in future, additional spectrum will be allotted through the auction route.
Once Mr Sibal has taken a view on these issues, the ministry is likely to send them to Cabinet for a final nod on implementation.
The irony of it all is that the whole world knows and worries about AIDS whose total universal load is only about 30 to 33 million in all in contrast to the Indian load alone of NIDS of 67 million—it is on the rise!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”— Martin Luther King, Jr
Immune system is the one that keeps us alive in this complicated world, dominated by human greed as the driving force. That is our inbuilt doctor that could correct any deviation from the normal if we look after the immune system well. Good nutrition is an essential part of immune system health. Poverty, with the associated hypoproteinaemia, is at the root of all immune deficiency. India, unfortunately, has the highest load of childhood immune deficiency resulting in all kinds of illnesses in our children sending them to meet their maker in heaven prematurely in thousands almost daily. I had labelled this as Nutritional Immune Deficiency Syndrome (NIDS) ten years ago in a paper in a leading journal to attract the attention of the powers that be and the well-meaning general public. Since then I have been talking and writing about it on innumerable occasions. Except for two thinking chief ministers of Indian states, no one could care less. Those two states, which took my advice seriously, are on the way to improving their children’s immune status whose efforts, unfortunately, begin almost from the time the child is made in the mother’s womb!
The irony of it all is that the whole world knows and worries about AIDS whose total universal load is only about 30 to 33 million in all in contrast to the Indian load alone of NIDS of 67 million—it is on the rise! The whole of sub-Saharan Africa has a load of 42 million. There is a reason for this anomaly. While drug companies are pushing their costly drugs to treat the evanescent AIDS costing millions of dollars and billions of dollars are available for people who claim to be AIDS researchers, the poor NIDS has no sponsor at all. The man who reported the first case of AIDS in 1981 got the Nobel Prize recently for just an ordinary case report where his group showed a virus in the bone marrow of that young man who died due to the disease in Paris. There is no proof that the said virus is the cause of that syndrome as immune deficient patients could harbour all kinds of germs in their body. One would now realise as to how disease mongering goes on in this era of prospering sickness industry.
Poverty, with its consequent nutritional deficiency, does not seem to be easing in the near future, either. Economist Utsa Patnaik in her lecture recently in Chennai testified that between 1991 and 2001, the first post-liberalisation decade, the per capita consumption of foodgrain had gone down by at least 25 to 30 kgs. 75% of protein and calorie energy come from foodgrain for the rural poor; the fall in consumption will have serious impact on their nutritional status. This, as explained later, will impact the childhood malnutrition load seriously. The liberalization policy has reversed the trend of improvement of per capita consumption achieved in the first 40 years post-independence. The National Sample Survey showed that while official records were used for the published nutrition norms of 2004-2005, the actual poverty lines were almost double the official ones. The situation for the rural poor is very bleak indeed what with official inflation rates in double digits! The poor, even today, pay for their poverty with their own lives! Please be warned that our rich kids are having a new epidemic of malnutrition due to junk food habits which could be our next problem in the years to come. While the poor suffer from protein sub-nutrition the rich kids suffer from protein malnutrition. In the latter case liver damage will be a curse in addition.
To compound this we have an exclusive education system that makes the successful students that manage to fill our administrative posts as also those that go to make our thought leaders oblivious to the needs of their peers who are denied even primary education for want of food, clothing and shelter. Adult malnutrition as depicted above seriously impacts the lives of young children. When a lady becomes pregnant, if she falls into the malnutrition class, the growing foetus in her womb suffers irreparable life-long damage, especially in the first trimester. All the human organs are made before the 20th week of gestation. If at that time the mother is impoverished, most children die in the womb (stillbirth). Many a time nature tries to keep these children alive at the cost of their development by enlarging the size of the placenta which could supply some extra blood to the child from the mother. Such a child, when born alive, will be too small and would have all the organs less well developed. The vital organs here are the hippocampus major in the brain needed for learning, creativity, memory etc, and the heart and vascular tree and the pancreas. When these children grow up they are liable to die young of heart disease, diabetes and more than all that, they will not be able to achieve any academic goals as their hippocampus major is very small to begin with. These are called prenatal causes of adult diseases. Feeding these kids after birth will be of not much use in changing that position as shown by the governmental efforts through ICDS for decades.
Very good news for all Indians and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is that India has been officially declared free from Wild Polio for one long year and hope that Wild Polio will join history books for ever. I am not that enthusiastic about it as we have to keep vaccinating our children for some more years to come. Even today in India we have vaccine-related serious polio disease and deaths recorded. While the official figures are not alarming they have to be taken seriously. The target is the poor child that is malnourished. Even the textbooks of medicine proclaim from house-tops that a malnourished child SHOULD NEVER be given attenuated live polio virus by mouth (that is exactly what we are doing) we have given more than 30 such doses to the children majority of whom are malnourished. In such children the virus, instead of enhancing immunity, will only make the virus mutate in the child’s gut into the serious P1 and P3 variety to be excreted in their faeces. Our sanitation being what it is in the slums and villages, other malnourished children could be easy prey for those deadly viruses. If I remember right, Dr Pushpa Bhargava had written some years ago that we had several thousand such cases even then. Much more must have been added to the list. I was told that we had seven such cases recently. Let me make an earnest appeal to the powers that be that at least now let us spend a little extra money to give our poor children dead virus vaccines by injection so that India will be free of all kinds of polio. After all, for the hapless patient and the family it does not matter what virus causes the disease. It is sad for them in any case. Let us save some money that our people in power are supposed to eat instead to save a few lives.
In conclusion, one could say that malnutrition and the attendant NIDS are our major problems in the healthcare arena. India needs clean drinking water, three square meals for every one which are free from human and/or animal excreta, a roof on top at night, in place of the star-lit sky (which could save poor from the ravages of bitter cold), proper sanitation to avoid deadly hookworm infestation and many other water-borne infections, opportunity for everyone for good primary education, avoiding cooking smoke with carbon monoxide from coming into the house (which kills children below five of pneumonia and women of heart attacks), and finally economic empowerment of village women with job opportunities for all. Curiously, even the deadly chronic diseases are more prevalent among the poor. We need not have such expensive hospitals in such large numbers if we had the above-mentioned facilities in all villages. Healthcare is not synonymous with disease care. Our present efforts are all aimed at disease care and we do not even think of healthcare.
“He is ever manifest as Love in all beings. What other God — the creation of your mind — are you then going to worship! Let the Vedas, the Koran, the Puranas, and all scriptural lumber rest now for some time—let there be worship of the visible God of Love and Compassion in the country. All idea of separation is bondage, that of non-differentiation is Mukti. Let not the words of people dead-drunk with worldliness terrify you. Be fearless; ignore the ordinary critics as worms!”— Swami Vivekananda
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former vice-chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected])