MUMBAI, NOVEMBER, 2015: A World Bank survey in 2009 had rated India on the aspect of ease of doing business. It had mentioned Mumbai as the ‘toughest city to get construction permits’ among the 17 cities it surveyed in India. A recent update in the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings (2016) saw India’s position improve: India now ranked by the World Bank at 130 of 189 countries on “Ease of Doing Business.” That is up 12 places from its original ranking last year and four places from its rank on a revised list.
But when it comes to Mumbai and construction permissions and clearances have things really changed?
“I was recently asked by a section of the media whether the figures, as mentioned by the World Bank 2016 data, which states that construction permits for city of Mumbai takes 147 days and 40 procedures where accurate. My response was that the numbers are not accurate: it takes anything from two to three years to get approvals,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder-First President, NAREDCO (Maharashtra). “If one looks at how things have been over the past decade, I would say the ‘ease of business’ when it comes to real estate, has actually become tougher in the last couple of years,” he added.
Introduction of online permissions and a single window clearance system would go a long way in reducing delays in real estate projects, said Niranjan Hiranandani. He acknowledged that the Maharashtra state government has shown intent in this regard, but said that real estate developers are waiting for the changes to reflect ‘on ground’. “The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis has spoken about taking necessary action to move things quickly; he has mandated that things should get done in 60 days for building approvals. I hope that things will move at the grass-root level in the coming weeks, months,” he said.
Referring to recent media reports which quoted India’s Finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley’s comments on the improved ‘ease of doing business rankings’ by the World Bank, where the Hon’ble Minister said, ”States must realise that local laws which enable availability of land, environmental permissions, sanction of building plans need a relook. Once an industrial zone or new township has been cleared for environmental sanctions, should individual structures require a separate environmental approval?” Niranjan Hiranandani said he was looking forward to such positive thinking become a reality.
In his new role as Founder-First President, NAREDCO (Maharashtra), Niranjan Hiranandani said NAREDCO will evolve to a higher level of recognition and be a conduit between the authorities, Government and developers for better functioning of the real estate industry. “NAREDCO has taken various initiatives in the past, and will do so in the future, to create platform for the developers to address their difficulties and getting it resolved with the Government and other associated authorities. NAREDCO will make sure that in the current scenario, with industry facing many challenges; will work to simplify processes,” he concluded.