MUMBAI: The new central government should primarily look at making life easier for home buyers and real estate developers.
It should focus on lowering interest rates for buyers and not only for companies, as the residential segment is largely financed by buyers. The former National Democratic Alliance government had kick-started economic development with house loan for as low as six to 6.25 per cent interest. Even in 2009-10, when the impact of the global meltdown had to be avoided by India, the State Bank of India provided teaser home loans at a fixed rate of eight per cent for two years. We can very well imagine the spurt in economic and construction activity such a measure will provide. It will be the first step towards replicating the development of infrastructure and towns and cities, as has been witnessed in China over the past three decades.
Obtaining environment clearances has become a notorious exercise. Most cities and urban areas have a master plan, which is already approved by all authorities but permission has to be taken for construction of any building. Disposal of building applications given to the ministry of environment and forests/state pollution control departments is time-consuming and results in duplication. So, make these mandatory for all buildings and do away with the no objection certificate. Wherever there are large buildings/complexes/townships to be made, a time-bound process to prescribe any additional condition could be set in the same department, which otherwise would be relieved of most of its work.
It will need to address land acquisition. While there are many details in the land aqusition act, which can be fine-tuned, the basic need is to do away with the schedule of a minimum of 50 months or five years (the Act says it will take four to five years to complete all procedures to acquire land).