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Chavan applies balm to angry realtors

Maharashtra,Business/Economy, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

Mumbai, May 2 (IANS) A week after the powerful realty industry's sharp criticism of the Maharashtra government for "inaction and policy paralysis", Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan attempted to soothe their ruffled feathers, a top industry official said here Wednesday.


Tuesday night, Chavan met a high-level delegation of the industry's umbrella body MCHI-CREDAI (Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry-Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India) and assured "top priority" for affordable housing in the state.


Chavan also acknowledged the role of the realty industry in the state's economic growth, which also contributes around seven percent to the national GDP, said MCHI-CREDAI president Paras Gundecha.


"Acknowledging the developer community's role in the economic growth of Mumbai Metropolitan Region in particular and the state in general, the chief minister emphasized that his government accords top priority to affordable housing," Gundecha told mediapersons here.


The MCHI-CREDAI had claimed last week that an ambitious plan to construct 500,000 affordable homes in Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts was gathering dust due to 'inaction, policy paralysis' on the part of Maharashtra government.


The plan, jointly mooted by MCHI-CREDAI, was submitted to the state government two years ago to bridge the gap between housing demand-supply and rein in realty prices, he said.


"Even as housing cost is skyrocketing in Mumbai, the plan to construct 500,000 affordable flats as part of the realty industry and state government's initiative, 'Homes For All' gathered dust for two years," Gundecha lamented.


Attempting to mollify the developers' community, Chavan said he was aware of the issues confronted by them and assured he would examine each of them to accord priority and time-bound solutions.


"We hope that all burning issues related to the realty sector would be addressed in a phased and quick manner," Gundecha said.


The MCHI-CREDAI secretary Boman Irani said that they also sought a 'single-window clearance' to speed up the processes for constructing homes, especially since delays add to the rising cost of properties.


"We also expressed our intention to play a meaningful role in creating mass housing to enhance supply which can have a positive impact on prices for the common man," Irani pointed out.


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