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No claimants for 2,500-3,000 flats in Jaypee Infratech projects

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With no claimants for 2,500-3,000 flats in Jaypee Infratech projects so far, “ghost buyers” are providing the latest twist in the two-year-old insolvency resolution process for the high-profile real estate and roads company.

The count, which is being contested, means that nearly 10% of flats and villas sold by Jaypee Infratech have not seen any claims filed nearly 27 months after the exercise started. While claims come handy when a company heads for liquidation, in real estate projects, the bidders always keep an eye on unsold inventory as it has the potential to offer future revenue streams and can also reduce the burden on existing home buyers.

The issue has come to the fore after state-run NBCC budgeted for nearly 3,000 “benami flats” in its calculations to complete the project. The construction firm intends to share half the profit from the sale of these properties with existing lenders led by IDBI Bank.

So, if a property was sold for Rs 50 lakh and has seen payments of Rs 20 lakh but has no new claimant it can be sold for, say, Rs 75 lakh in future. NBCC intends to share half the Rs 55 lakh gain with the banks, explained a source.

NBCC may be drawing upon the ministry of corporate affairs’ stand that apartments that have not seen any claims so far may be “benami”, and offered to politicians, bureaucrats and bankers who helped with project clearances and funding.

But the interim resolution professional (IRP) or the committee of creditors (CoC) is yet to treat the flats as benami assets. To begin with, benami property, if proved, will be attached by the Enforcement Directorate, unless the government moves in to quickly amend the law.

Besides, there is a question mark over the assumption itself as well as the numbers. Sources said that many of the “ghost buyers” may come forward to claim the flats when they are completed or nearing completion given that they were booked at Rs 3,000-3500 a square foot and are now priced higher. Once ready, the premium is expected to go up.

Besides, an analysis conducted earlier had shown that the number of flats where no claims have been filed so far were less than 2,500. In addition, there were few buyers who had more than three flats, although there was a larger number with two apartments across Jaypee Infratech’s projects stretching from Noida to Agra.

A separate analysis also showed that the number of flats with less than 25% of the payment received was not very significant. On an average, 74% of the payment for the nearly 30,000 flats and villas had been received.

Source: TNN

(Note: The story has been published without modifications to the text. Only the headline have been changed.)

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