“India is still having the hangover of ‘License Raj’ and ‘Inspector Raj’. Indian bureaucracies still move at a snail pace speed”, commented Anand J Gupta, MD of Choudhury & Choudhury (India) Ltd. Mr. Gupta is also the Vice President of “Remaking of Mumbai Federation” and Hon. Treasurer of Builders Association of India.
Choudhury & Choudhury (India) Ltd. is one of the pioneering developers in Mumbai. Can you discuss about your business in detail?
Choudhury & Choudhury (India) Ltd. Group Company is having two divisions – one is Real Estate and Redevelopment of properties division and other one is Contract Division. It is an ISO 9000 company established in the year 1971 having a paid-up capital of Rs.5 crore. The company is having various prestigious projects, which are more than in 100 numbers to its credit.
You are also the Vice President of Remaking of Mumbai Federation and Hon. Treasurer of Builders Association of India. What is your opinion about current trend in real estate industry in India?
Builders Association of India (BAI) is an Apex body of construction contractors and builders having more than 11000 business houses as their members spread over 100 plus centers in the country. 50% of our members are infrastructure developers and 50% members are real estate developers. Because of rapid urbanization, there is tremendous opportunities for urban housing the real estate will grow many folds in coming years in all urban areas of the country. As such, I have no hesitation to make a statement that future of real estate industry is most bright and it is going to contribute a very high percentage of GDP of the Nation.
What are the services your company is providing apart from Real Estate Development?
As ours is an ISO 9000 certified company, we take all care to provide after-sales-service.
Can you brief us about your upcoming projects?
Our Group is planning to have the projects in Worli, D. N. Nagar, Pune etc. shortly.
What is your opinion about increased FDI in Real Estate Sector?
At the outset, I appreciate the Government for increasing the FDI in Real Estate Sector. It is admitted fact that, every country in its course of development has depended mostly on funds from the foreign countries. In India, we have a conservative mindset in business practice, which normally won’t open to outsiders. However, off late, the industrialists also have accepted partnership mode of business, which now becomes part of Indian business. I feel the pre-condition of a minimum investment of 1 Million Dollar is unwarranted and looking at free economy scenario, no such pre-conditions are required.
What kind of policy reforms are needed to make India a favourite destination of real estate development for foreign Investors?
India is still having the hangover of ‘License Raj’ and ‘Inspector Raj’. Indian bureaucracies still move at a snail pace speed. Indian Real Estate Developer has to get permission from various Government Authorities to start even a very small project even worth Rs.10 crores.
A Real Estate Developer has to run after for permission from CRZ, Clearance from Environment Ministry, License from various Labour Law Department, N.O.C. from Local Self Government, Registration with a most of Departments etc. etc., are the impediment for faster development.
The Government has to come out with a single point window for permission for a project. Release of land to urban areas commensurate with increase in population is required. We should have a fixed policy to convert the agriculture land to urban area to cope with the rapid urbanization. We are also required to discuss and debate to open up even agriculture land to outsiders. If foreigners to buy the land for production of agriculture, they will also bring together their technology and mechanization to improve the productivity of agriculture and once our persons learnt from them, we will be able to match the per hector production with developed part of the world, which presently is very low as compared to their per hector production in their areas. This type of decision will help the country grow faster.
As of now, which is the most preferred destination for Real Estate Developers in India? And why?
Normally, the demand is more for residential and commercial properties in cities. Therefore, investors prefer to invest in major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, etc. However, off late, Investors have shown interest in investing for major townships at suburbs also.
Do you wish to share any other difficulties being faced the sector and road to overcome?
As I narrated before, Government has to come out with a single point window for permission, so that many malpractices could be controlled. Provident Fund to construction labours implemented in 1980 is practically not implementable and non-functional in spite of EPF Act being in force for more than 30 years. One per cent compliance i.e. 426 thousand out of more than Rs.3 crore are making use of EPF situation. This speaks that Act in the present form is not functioning and hence Parliament is required to review their own Act if they are really serious about the weak section of the labour. Secondly, too many different labour laws in Central and State forcing industry to keep false records, make false statement and no purpose is being served by these labour laws as in reality they are hardly being got implemented. We should come out with new practical labour laws by scrapping of earlier labour laws, which are not implementable.