Real estate developers seek ‘ease of doing business’

Panaji: Facing crisis due to the ongoing pandemic, Goan real estate developers are asking for the ease of doing business from various government departments like the TCP, forests etc besides village panchayats for the revival of the industry.

Members of CREDAI – Goa, on Monday, said that the builders are troubled by the lengthy approval process that delays construction. They said that the ease of doing business is necessary for completing projects and handing over possession of homes to buyers on time.

“The local industry needs to be extricated from the difficulties caused by the pandemic. There is steep increase in cost of construction due to rise in the prices of raw materials like cement, sand, steel, laterite, ready mix plaster, etc. From the pre-COVID days to now, the prices of raw materials have increased by 23 per cent. The other hurdle is industry slowdown,” said CREDAI- Goa.

The ease of doing business suggestions by the industry body include doing away with approving committee for projects when the plot is in the settlement zone, excluding the village panchayat from giving health and electricity approvals, hassle-free tree cutting permission from the forest department once the NOC is received for change of zone, frequent PDA meetings, delinking of the conversion sanad with the approval as they are two separate issues, among others.

Nilesh Salkar, president of CREDAI-Goa, pointed out that approval process from the TCP is lengthy and needs to be shortened to save time.

“There is unnecessary paperwork. An approved project is again sent back for re-approval in case of revision,” he said.

Salkar added that most of the ease of doing business measures asked from government are already included in the Goa Delivery of Public Services Act, 2013.

“The Act says that NOCs from the panchayat and different government departments must be on time. If it is implemented, it would solve lot of problems of the real estate industry,” said Salkar.

To facilitate the recovery of the realty sector, the state government on June 26 extended validity of all construction licences and other permissions without any additional fees.

Salkar said that these steps are welcome but the extension granted by the government are only for three months. “The ease of doing business measures are for long-term revival of the construction and building industry in the state,” he said.

Builders in Goa are battling the worst ever demand slowdown caused by bunching of developments such as demonetisation, RERA, GST and now COVID-19 pandemic.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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