Over the last 2-3 years, there has been off and on buzz about an impending decision to link Aadhaar with property and the decibel level around this audacious gambit has just got louder.
If the government goes ahead and implements the widely speculated move of linking Aadhaar with property, it will constitute another big surgical strike against black money and money laundering. The first big 'surgical strike' was in the form of demonetisation announced in November 2016.
Ever since the Modi government came to power in 2014, it has tightened the screws on black money and the first hit of the campaign was taken by the real estate sector. With black money flows into the notorious sector waning, property prices fell and the value destruction in property has been a key cause of the economic slowdown.
The fall in property prices has controlled generation of black money and also made property more affordable for the masses, especially as the government is moving towards Housing for All target by 2022.
There have been reports of the government being in final stages of coming out with a law to link Aadhaar with property.
The move, if it happens, will weed out 'benami' (proxy) transactions, increase transparency and make property more affordable as there could be an initial rush to liquidate assets for fear of coming under the tax lens.
Rajan Bandelkar, President, NAREDCO Maharashtra, in a recent statement, said: "Linking Aadhaar with property ownership has the potential to weed out black money and eradicate fraudulence from the real estate sector. This move also has the potential to enable rationalization of home prices, as all those who have invested in benami property will rush to disinvest."
It can, however, help in the ease of transactions and providing finance. "The Aadhaar-property linkage will also provide some ease to procedures related to home buying such as home loan, property transaction, sale or purchase of property, etc, due to enhanced transparency. Since the entire linking process will be time-consuming, the government should give enough time to property owners," Bandelkar added.
Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson Nahar Group and Vice President NAREDCO (Maharashtra) said: "The proposal to link Aadhaar Number to property ownership is a welcome move in favour of the residential segment as it will lend more credibility and transparency to the segment. Home buyers will further benefit from it because it also brings a sense of security in their transactions, which will favour reputed players with proven track record.
"On the other hand, it will also encourage serious investors to look at sizeable and long-term investments in the residential sector, which will add to further momentum in the market."