Jones Lang La Salle report says there is demand for more than 31 lakh units
Jones Lang LaSalle India’s research report ‘Senior Living Sector in India’ has underlined the need for realty sector to focus on the needs of the elderly—an area which has largely been ignored and remains unexploited.
“Besides growth in sheer numbers, seniors are also evolving as a customer segment and have needs and wants, which are different from seniors in earlier times. A significant section of seniors today are independent, financially stable, well-travelled, socially connected, and as a result have well developed thoughts of how they want to spend time after retirement,” the report says.
The report says that an analysis of 135 urban centres found that seniors represent 12.8 million households. Demand for formal senior living facilities from across varying income sections stood at 312,000 units. Tier-3 cities’ demands comprised 49%, whereas Tier-1 cities and Tier-2 cities comprised 35% and 16% of the demand respectively.
Regionwise, 31% of the demand was from west India, followed by 27% in south and 23% in north India.
Geographically, senior living projects are coming up in the suburbs of all key metros and some traditional ‘retirement towns’ like Coimbatore, Goa and Dehradun, adds Jones Lang LaSalle. Majority of these developments have 50-100 units in the form of residential complexes, with larger ones having over 400 units. The typology varies from 1 BHK-3 BHK units, villas and studio apartments. The units range from 500 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft in super built-up (saleable) area. Most of the projects cost less than Rs3.30 crore.
“However, there has been a recent shift with more mid and high-end projects being launched in the market, showing signs of maturity of the sector and growing confidence among developers to launch niche projects,” says the report.
The report identifies social stigma, affordability, lack of manpower and absence of pro-elderly living standard laws as the main challenges facing the senior citizens living segment. Keeping in mind the needs of the elderly with progressing age, Jones Lang LaSalle has identified four kinds of living solutions: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and continuing care communities (CCRCs). “CCRCs are yet to see a presence in India although a few corporate groups have now designed blue prints to come up with such projects,” says the report.
For urban areas, small-scale CCRCs would be most viable; where as for peri-urban and sub-urban settings, middle-scale and large-scale CCRCs would do. The report says that realtors should keep in mind the physical, medical and emotional problems the elderly face while developing projects. The report says that having a healthcare partner must be mandatory, and the projects should offer flexibility in disposal models and pricing to be affordable to the elderly.
However, the report says that there is a need to set up a working committee which would draft a set of development controls relevant to senior living projects. “Senior living projects, by virtue of their unique characteristics, should not be given the same FSI or development controls (E.g. density norms) as given in residential projects,” it says.
As per Census of India projections, elders would comprise 12.4% of total population in 2026 and 19.7% in 2050. In 2011, India had about 76 million seniors above the age of 60 years and it is expected that this figure will grow to 173 million by 2025, further to 240 million by 2050. Interestingly, by 2050, it is estimated that the number of dependent adults in India will be at par with the number of dependent children.
While SEBI has already set up a National Institute of Securities Management, doesn’t it stand to reason that all certification must either be conducted or at least supervised by SEBI? And that the fees should be reasonable and cost-based?
Do the many certification programmes for market participants, conducted by the two stock exchanges attract service tax? Although there are only two national bourses offering these certification examinations, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) does not pay service tax while the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) does.
Both stock exchanges make it mandatory for brokers and their staff to clear a set of basic certification programmes to qualify to handle the sophisticated automated trading systems. The Securities of Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) circular (29 June 1998) granting permission to conduct these online exams requires it to be on ‘no profit’ basis. Since certification fees and certification modules is the least visible of the activities of stock exchanges, nothing much is known about how these courses are conducted, who supervises the certification and what is the profit, if any, earned from these activities.
A Kerala-based RTI and investor activist however posted a series of queries to SEBI and the two national bourses and came up with another example of lax or indifferent supervision by the regulator and a definite state of confusion even over basic issues.
For starters, he discovered that the NSE’s Certificate in Financial Market (NCFM) neither collects nor pays service tax on the examinations. The service tax department confirmed this to the Kerala-based activist. Further, in response to Moneylife’s query, the NSE denied that their courses have any element of commercial training or coaching. “NCFM is an online testing and certification programme. Service tax is applicable on commercial training or coaching service. Hence no service tax is payable on the NCFM examinations conducted by NSE, as there is no component of commercial training or coaching service in it,” said the bourse in an email reply.
Surprisingly, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which also runs similar courses, pays tens of lakhs of rupees as service tax for similar certification examinations. This, too, was revealed by the activist’s query with the office of the service tax commissioner. We learn from the activist that the Service Tax department has instituted an inquiry into the service tax issue and has also questioned relevant officers. The NSE chose to remain silent with regard to a specific question in this regard.
The difference does not end here. As mentioned above, the certification is supposed to be conducted on a no-profit basis. This ought to mean that the fees charge by both the BSE and the NSE ought to be the same. However, our activist says, the NSE charges Rs1,500 per module while the BSE charges only Rs828. Does this mean that NSE derives a significant profit from conducting the certification?
The NSE has earned an income of Rs23.35 crore, Rs28.83 crore and Rs28.35 crore in the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively. While this information is no longer on NSE’s website, the activist had downloaded the details when they were available. Asked about the income and profits from NCFM certification, NSE replied: “Currently, NCFM has several modules. Of the total, few of the modules are NISM related whereas majority of them are non-NISM related. The fees vary in respect of different modules. Also, fees charged in respect of NISM related modules are the same across the market”.
As is evident, the answer does not even begin to answer our query. It does not say why NSE charges more or why it is allowed to conduct 30 modules of certification. At a time when India’s investor population has shrunk to a third, the profitability of brokerage houses has dwindled and all the leading ones have been cutting branches and staff, who supervises the certification process of bourses? More importantly, while SEBI has already set up a National Institute of Securities Management (NISM), doesn’t it stand to reason that all certification must either be conducted or at least supervised by SEBI? And that the fees should be reasonable and cost-based?
The activist asked relevant questions, only to discover that the regulator is again sleeping on the job. SEBI was supposed to have a standing committee to oversee the examination process and an examination committee to develop and maintain question banks for these exams. However both these committees remained on paper. According to the activist, “There was a certification committee, which examined the question bank only once in 1998, while granting certification for NCFM. The said committee dissolved on May 2002”.
When we asked the NSE, it replied: “It may be noted that the certification committee, to oversee the process of examination was set up by SEBI. We understand that the same was dissolved in May 2002 by them. Further, any modules introduced by NSE and its curriculum are approved by NSE’s NCFM Committee.
It is not clear whether NSE’s committee decides the fees as well. What is however clear is that since 2002, SEBI has failed to perform its duties and, as Moneylife has repeatedly pointed out, the messy state of regulation and supervision of the capital market has contributed to driving retail investors away. Worse, while SEBI has not time to supervise the certification process, it has been busy setting up its own institute for (National Institute of Securities Markets) the captial markets which has opened shop to conduct a series of mandatory and voluntary training programmes for a fee.
ING Life retirement planning advertisement in ET Wealth makes misleading assumptions. It wants you to retire on your terms, but with ING’s assumptions. What can be expected from agents selling the plan? May be even more mis-selling?
ING Life has issued a full-page advertisement in ET Wealth giving details of retirement planning, their traditional product-New Best Years-and throwing at you some numbers to help you retire on your terms. While everyone wants to plan for retirement and ensure there are periodic funds available to meet retirement expenses, making realistic assumptions is the key to ensure a smooth retirement ride rather than ending up with disaster of outliving your assets.
The flawed plan tries to match what returns the company can possibly offer to what you may need post-retirement. What you may actually need can never by attained by the corpus they can build due to inherent assumptions! Instead of matching best possible returns to your least possible needs, it needs to match worst possible returns to your highest possible needs.
If the company can advertise such planning assumptions, what can be expected from agents selling the plan? May be even more mis-selling?