A four-day housing and real estate fair began in Chittagong yesterday to introduce customers to affordable flats and plots.
Chittagong City Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin inaugurated the REHAB Chittagong Fair 2016 as the chief guest at a ceremony at Hotel Radisson Blu Chittagong Bay View.
In his speech, the mayor pledged to assist REHAB leaders in finding a land in the port city to set up a proposed institute to build skilled workers.
He urged REHAB to look into alleged irregularities, including delayed handover of apartments to investors.
REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alamin said the association hands over 10,000 flats a year: 9,000 of them are handed over in time and the rest are not for valid reasons. A sub-committee is engaged in mitigating the allegations, he added.
The REHAB leaders hope that total sales at this year's fair would exceed Tk 200 crore, compared to about Tk 150 crore last year.
REHAB Vice President SM Abu Sufian, also the chairman of REHAB Chittagong regional committee, said real estate had remained in the doldrums over the last three years.
The sector started making a comeback due to a fall in the bank interest rate, a decrease in FDR interest rate, the government's decision to provide loans among expatriates as well as relative political stability.
Sufian urged the government to take some policy decisions such as permission for investment of undisclosed money in the sector and decreasing registration expenses as well as tax and VAT to help revitalise the sector.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Md Mahbubul Alam, Chittagong Metropolitan Police's Additional Commissioner Debdas Bhattacharjee, REHAB Senior Vice President Robiul Hoque and Co-chairman of Chittagong Regional Committee Iftekhar Hosen were also present.
A total of 54 realtors from Dhaka and Chittagong, 11 building materials firms and seven financial institutes are participating in 72 stalls at the fair at Radisson.
Eighteen real estate firms are co-sponsoring the fair while the entry fee is fixed at Tk 50 for a single entry and Tk 100 for multiple entries; the fund collected from ticket sales would go to charity, said organisers.