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Realty speculation faces demolition

MAYUR SHEKHAR JHA AND RAJAT GUHA

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2006 12:00:00 AM]

 

NEW DELHI: In a move that would come as a major relief for genuine property buyers while ushering in hard times for the land mafia, the urban development ministry is planning to impose restrictions that will prevent speculative deals. Anyone in possession of ‘urbanisable’ land will have to start construction work within six months, if the norms are implemented. Otherwise, the land concerned would be acquired by government agencies at existing floor-rates which, in most cases, are significantly lower than prevailing market rates.

Anyone in possession of ‘urbanisable’ land will have to start construction work within six months. Otherwise, the land concerned would be acquired by government agencies at existing floor-rates.


The primary aim of the proposed policy is to keep cash-rich speculators at bay. According to well-placed sources in the ministry, a mandatory reduction in licensing time is one of the most prominent strategies that the government is likely to introduce. The regulation is likely to be incorporated in the ministry’s forthcoming real-estate legislation. Later, it will be incorporated in the Delhi master plan which acts as the model framework for all metro cities.

Analysts feel that the worst-hit would be cash-rich investors and financiers, who had all along made hay trading in land. The biggest beneficiary would be the ‘great Indian middle class’.


“Right now, the concept is in initial stages and is being discussed by top officials and policy-makers. A formal regulation might come into effect later this year. The move is apparently aimed at countering the problem of land hoarding, which can best be attributed to the lack of any comprehensive policy or guidelines,” DDA member Virender Kasana told ET.

In fact, within the ministry as well as various associate authorities such as DDA, there is a very strong lobby which feels that the present situation has led to artificial land scarcity, particularly in larger cities. Addressing this issue is one of the prime concerns now.

When contacted, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit told ET: “I will not like to comment on this policy matter, but I repose complete faith in MPD (Delhi master plan), which is currently being prepared by the centre.”

By vayaM CS