Bhubaneswar: Odisha urban minister Pratap Jena, Saturday said that the real estate sector of the State that has been immensely impacted during Covid times needs support from all stakeholders.

Addressing the virtual roundtable on Covid-19 Impact on Urban Development, Real Estate & Smart Cities and Way Forward,’ organized by FICCI, Jena said that unemployment is yet another major problem during these unprecedented times. “We have taken multiple flexible steps to boost the real estate sector and I urge the industry to submit any suggestions or proposals to my department through FICCI,” he added.

Jena further stated that the pandemic has severely affected the economy of the state and the country as well. “State Government is aware of the problems faced by various real estate and urban development. The workforces and daily wage earners engaged in the sector have been impacted due to prolonged lockdown in the state,” he added.

The state government, he said has also announced COVID relief package worth Rs 1690 crore for the poor and weaker sections. The government would allocate Rs 300 crore to urban local bodies to provide employment opportunities under various schemes like MUKTA and MGNRES, he highlighted.

Speaking on the oxygen supply,  Jena said that the state government has already set up 15 oxygen plants in the state. Odisha is also supplying oxygen to other states of Odisha and saving millions of lives, he noted.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, Commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Vice Chairman, Bhubaneswar Development Authority and CEO, Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited said that the State Government want to translate industry requirements and ease problems in the city of Bhubaneswar. “There is no doubt about the contribution of real estate in the economy. Out of the real estate activities in the entire state, around 80 percent contribution is in the city of Bhubaneswar. The government and authorities are aware and appreciate the contribution of the real estate sector in the economic growth and the GDP of the state,” he added.

Speaking on the smart city project,  Singh stated that the role of 5G will be critical in developing a good and liveable smart city. He further stated that the state government is eager to kick-start the economy soon. “The state government is focusing on inclusive growth and has set a target of building 50,000 affordable houses by 2024 out of which 14,000 houses have already been sanctioned. We have identified the plots for the balance as well,” he added.

The government, he said has taken a number of steps to improve the ease of doing business in the state. He added that digitization is an important step in government system and for the real estate sector to grow, inclusive growth is imperative.

Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Chairperson, FICCI Odisha State Council and MD, Sambad Group appreciated the steps taken by the state government in managing the pandemic. She said that FICCI Odisha State Council has been actively working with the government and is the taskforce for medical oxygen supply and vaccination drive in the state.

Matrudatta Mishra, Director, SJ Developers & Housing Pvt Ltd; Tapan Kumar Mohanty, Managing Director, Z Estates;  Kantilal Patel, President, CREDAI Bhubaneswar Foundation, Member, Confederation of Real Estate Developer’s Association of India and  Sanjeeb Kumar Guru, Proprietor, Spire Consultants and Sr. Architect & Planner of the State also shared their perspective on the impact of pandemic in the real estate sector.