MUMBAI: The depreciating rupee is still no cause of concern for domestic developers of high-end residential and commercial spaces who import over $10 billion of material and services annually.
Sunil Mantri, Vice-Chairman, National Real Estate Development Council, said there was still a 10-15 per cent price benefit in material imported from China, which earlier were at over 35 per cent.
The council is an autonomous body under the Central Housing Ministry.
“The depreciating rupee in the 62 plus levels would still leave enough for the developer, spoilt by choice, to go for imports,” Mantri said.
The imports include chandeliers, air-conditioning, elevators, building automation equipment, furniture, wallpapers, wooden flooring, doors, windowpanes, tiles, sanitaryware and modular kitchens.
Some leading developers had offices in China to route home supplies and it was possible to purchase furniture even for a single apartment. There was no quantity restriction with multiple agents working in tandem.
Whether it was tiles from China, marble from Italy or modular kitchens from Germany, delivery was assured and quick.
This apart, developers also contracted the services of architects, landscape designers and interior decorators, whose payments were in dollars.
Mantri said there has been a constant rise in imports over the years for products and consultant services. Now, with the falling rupee, the construction cost had gone up.
It was time for developers to consider curbing imports and substitute them with domestic products as this would help local industries and generate employment in these trying times.