Initially I thought it applied only to small and upcoming builders — essentially, brokers who having ridden the high velocity of real estate transactions, churning a 2 per cent commission on Rs 50 lakh plus deals every other day for three years in a row, had turned builders. Their entire income in cash, there was not much they could do to grow. So, from buying small plots and building four cubby holes, their enterprises have grown into brands. Since the medium of transaction was cash, their businesses were relegated to the unaccounted backwaters of the economy. Statistically, they are out of the 6.1 per cent share that housing commands in India’s trillion-dollar economy. But Indian economic governance is soft on “livelihood” issues — a person with no education, no skills, no capital could only rely on enterprise for sustenance and the booming real estate sector provided that aplenty and towards whom the state turned a blind eye.
Opinion in The Indian Express, June 13, 2007