MUMBAI: Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to improve the conditions for doing business in India, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has simplified certain approval procedures and asked various departments to expedite the permissions related to real estate and construction.While the new system will apply to proposals received after May 15, 2015, ongoing project proposals can also enjoy the benefits of the proposed system.
The civic body, in its effort to reduce procedural delays in dealing with construction permits, has proposed single-window clearances, online approvals and self certification by MCGM-empanelled consultants for certain permits. In this circular, MCGM has stated that it is looking to curtail the procedures involved in obtaining building approvals and commencement certificates and thereby reduce the time limit for getting the approvals by 60%. Currently, the entire process takes anywhere between six and nine months.
Industry experts believe that the new simplified system will benefit the consumer, help reduce project delays and eventually make them relatively affordable. "Delay in approvals led to projects being held back and interest costs shooting up, which resulted in higher cost for homebuyers, making the product unaffordable. With the new mechanism, approvals would happen faster, time and cost factors will come down for both developers as well as homebuyers," said Manoj Daisaria, architect and former president of Practicing Engineers, Architects and Town Planners Association.
Real estate developers also cheered the civic body's move to simplify the processes. "It's a great relief for developers. If the approvals come in faster, costs will ease. Eventually we'll be able to pass on some benefits to consumers of new projects," said Sunil Mantri, president of realtors' body , National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
As per the World Bank report in 2014, India ranks 142 out of the 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business, while in terms of dealing with construction permits, India's ranking was as low as 184. The report also states that cost of construction permits in Mumbai consists of over 46% of the total construction cost.
Following these rankings, the government has initiated a comprehensive exercise at the central, state and local levels to take steps to improve the situation. As per the current procedure, the submission proposal is a cumbersome one, and for obtaining concession in open space and other concessions would require Traffic NOC and Chief Fire NOC, and then they are processed.