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Expert Speak


community to get the most valuable input for a cheaper price, not just deprived the actual owner of the rightful price, also gave rise to corrup- tion & nepotism. Developers weren’t demanding enough when the policymakers’ foisted needless demands, licensing policies, delayed approvals & out of pocket expenses, which instruments only increased the prices of the finished products. All the fanfare, with which the “Low cost housing”, affordable housing & such prod- ucts were announced, didn’t thrive. The incre- mental input cost (read OOP expenses) only ensured that developers were creating the sup- ply of middle income & luxury homes. A random survey of the current de- velopments in cities like Gurgaon, Pune, Banga- lore, Mumbai or any such evolving markets would prove this point.


Land prices contribute to almost 40% of any project. Typically, from the date of allotment, acquisition of the land to completion, the time taken is not less than 5-7 years. Add the cost of money, Energy cost & maintenance of high cost real estate, we do know that almost 65% of any cor- porates OPEX is dedicated towards Real estate.


This pushes our argument to the moot point again ~ “In whose interest is the govern- ment acquisition of land”? The landowner was paid a


pittance, a lot of land which acquired gets encumbered by unscrupulous elements, the buyers of unauthorized colo- nies get duped, the developer buys land costlier & waits for years sometimes for all devel- opment approvals, the end oc- cupier pays more for his dream home / Office, the investors & institutions take higher risks funding them etc.


So, who benefits?


land for specialist developers, that being the trend globally. A case in point is the hordes of moneybags & family run businesses (including from the political & bureaucratic families) entering the domain of development, and more specifically that of Townships, SEZs, special purpose pro- jects like Power, Ports, other infrastructure. Another report of the same author on SEZs point out the abysmal failure of the SEZ policy, and less than 10% of the proposed projects actually tak- ing off. The question to raise being ~ “Did SEZ developers enter into the domain for the Land asset being given by the state at less than market valuation?”


It is a considered opinion of this author, who has been working at the ground level of the Delhi Masterplan 2021, that the govern- ment has no business to grab land from the farmers, in most cases @20% of the market valuation, converting the land and auction / allot / sell the same at prices which are in some cases 20X of the price at which acquired


from the farmers.


Is there a pattern in the slow down in decision-making, the increase in the land acquisi- tion by the government & the incremental complaints of cor- ruption & nepotism? Readers decide.


Specialist firms purchase GIREM 101 13


Never too good to point fin- gers, but, why did it take inde- pendent India’s policy makers & leaders117 years to amend a bill, which was created by the British to fulfill their myopic perspective to rule India.


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