Fewer launches, poor buyer response and dip in sales over the last 6 months, the growth of Chennai’s real estate sector have been sluggish. Developers blame the government for delayed approvals, red tape and a laidback approach to boosting investment in the state. But with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa back in office for her second term new measures are being taken up to correct this.
TN Govt Uses Tech To Cut Red Tape
It has been a slow recovery for the Chennai market since the December floods and the disruption in policy making with the 2016 Assembly elections, two factors that have led to a 36% drop in launches and 8% drop in sales. But it looks like the second term of the Amma could see a turnaround for the sector with the government taking steps to speed up the approval process, bring in more industrial investment and complete long-pending infrastructure projects
“Yes, there is a single window now but there are still many other doors which have come under severe criticism from the industry. This time, Tamil Nadu will give itself a much higher score in terms of ease-of-doing business. They are plans to introduce advanced technologies to track project approvals, applications or apps to track them in every stage in the process so that it truly becomes a single window.” claims Pandiarajan, spokesperson of the ruling AIADMK party.
So what are some of the improvements that we can expect? Government sources say single-window clearance, reduced stamp duty and special provisions for affordable homes are some of the proposals being given top priority.
Focus On Greater Engagement With Industry
There are also plans to set a 30-day time limit for approval processes which will be a big boost considering the year or more it normally takes for these approvals to be in place.
“Once we submit our applications, we have no idea what is happening to it. Someone has to go to the department and find out and that becomes privileged information. There is no transparency. Now they are saying under the new system, the moment the file goes from one table to another, an automated SMS will be generated and sent to the builder. I think that a dream come true.” says Suresh Krishn, President of CREDAI-Chennai
CREDAI sources claim that the state is also looking at digitalizing records, having all communication through email to save time and is cutting unnecessary elements in the approval process for getting the Tahsildar’s signature for authorizing ‘Patta’ land as well as approvals from the Airport Authority of India. Opportunities for face-to-face interaction between the bureaucrats and builders are also being set up to so that all issues can be discussed and approvals for particular sectors sanctioned across the table.
“I think this particular change in attitude by the government in its second avatar or version 2.0, shows clear direction. The government is giving very clear signals that they are pro-industry and that they mean business. Tamil Nadu will not lose its competitive strength. We will fight and regain our market share.” says Ajit Chordia, director of the Olympia Group
Tamil Nadu’s ‘Vision 2023’ plan aims at completing 217 star infrastructure projects, with a total investment of Rs 15 lakh crores. If the government continues with its thrust on improving ease-of-doing business and actually delivers on its promises, Tamil Nadu could soon be the envy of South India.
Reporter : Smitha TK
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas