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Commentary

SBI Stops Lending In Noida

After a verdict by the Supreme Court that made some of the Greater Noida land acquisition illegal, SBI and other banks have stopped lending to real estate in the region.

DNA says 6,000 buyers are impacted. Many will move to other projects, yet others will be desperate to get back their money. I wonder how many projects actually started out (so that the banks will be impacted). Banks usually don’t lend the first "advance" for a house, that’s usually part of the down payment. Only as construction begins and slabs are created, is money released to builders. So if this was barren land, banks shouldn’t really be impacted.

Having said that, if this is a precedent to go by, then other farmers in projects that are further downstream in terms of development might go to court and win. That will hurt the system a lot (and it should). The government has no business acquiring land forcibly, regardless of acts. In fact, there shouldn’t even be a distinction between agricultural and commercial/residential land. A farmer should be free to sell his land to a developer directly.

In a way this decision is very good; it protects the right to own property. For those thousands who bought in, I feel bad, but that’s the risk when you buy a property before it has been constructed.