India’s slowdown-hit real estate sector is hoping for a fresh boom. The government has decided to shorten a long list of conditions that developers have to meet before laying the first brick of their project. The aim is to replicate Hong Kong’s success of issuing construction permits within 60 days.
Experts say fewer formalities and quicker approvals would reduce project costs for developers, and significantly pull down prices for home buyers. Builders spend up to three years for obtaining the over 50 approvals from authorities at the centre, state and municipal bodies. Further, the industry has been complaining that convoluted green regulations are choking growth.
The environment ministry has decided to reduce the number of conditions that developers have to meet, from 30 to six-eight, depending on project size. These norms are related to water conservation, natural drainage, solid-waste management, energy, air quality, noise and green cover. “With clearance coming quickly, costs will come down. It will also cut delays,” said Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director (South Asia) of real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. A 2015 World Bank report of nations, on ease in dealing with construction permits, has found that India has one of the most cumbersome and lengthy processes, and has ranked it 184th among 189 countries.