Staff Correspondent

Simplify rules for conversion of farm land for non-farm use: PHDCCI

BHOPAL: The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has suggested that the proposed housing policy for Madhya Pradesh ensure transparent land use and simplify the legal and procedural framework for conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.

In a statement issued here on Monday, the PHDCCI Resident Director Rajendra Kothari underlined the need for revision of by-laws to streamline the approval process for construction of buildings and development of sites.

Emphasising the role of private investment and expertise to ensure availability of quality housing stock to meet the requirement in high growth cities, PHDCCI said that there should be an enabling environment for private participation and the Government's role should be restricted to that of a catalyst and facilitator in the housing sector.

It also said that the Master Plans and zonal plans in the State should be finalised in accordance with the housing policy to help developers plan their projects and investments.

The PHDCCI statement goes on to add that due to State monopoly in the real estate sector, land and housing come under State subject and the State-owned Housing Boards and Development Authorities act as major suppliers of housing and infrastructure services. The availability of funds with these agencies is restricted.

Further, the rigid land-use policies prohibit recycling of land from low productive to high productive and from low density to high density use. As a result, a large number of houses remain unoccupied.

"This also promotes speculative investment in real estate, leading to distorted prices. There is also absence of quality control and builders operate on fly-by-night basis leaving the owners in a lurch", the statement goes on to add.

The housing policy, according to the PHDCCI, should address the issue of updated and transparent land records and help in simplifying the present cumbersome transaction processes leading to high transaction costs and underreporting of actual transaction amounts.