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Maharashtra realtors threaten shift to Gujarat

Monday October 22, 2012 05:05:14 PM, IANS

Mumbai: Under growing pressure from the Maharashtra government over alleged investor-unfriendly policies, realtors have threatened to move shop to neighbouring Gujarat, a representative of the developers said here Monday.

Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India president Lalit Kumar Jain criticised the policies in this state, culminating in the latest proposal to hike land lease rates, which he claimed "do not encourage investors at all".

"Gone are the days when investors from within Maharashtra and outside would plan increased involvement here. Now, for quite sometime, investors are looking outside (this state)," Jain said.

Jain said that the "Maharashtra government's policies will end up being its 'gift' to Gujarat's upcoming GIFT City".

The neighbouring state is developing a Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) near Ahmedabad.

GIFT City aspires to be a global financial hub by offering global firms world-class infrastructure and facilities.

Quoting a latest survey report of 10 Indian cities by Cushman & Wakefield, Jain said that Ahmedabad had emerged at the top with a whopping 39 percent of the investments made in those (10) cities.

"As per this report, Ahmedabad attracted about Rs.71,270 crore investments in various sectors, including realty and infrastructure. We have every reason to believe that investors are shying away from Mumbai," Jain said.

He explained that realty had become an expensive affair in Mumbai due to the government's allegedly unsupportive policies - like premium on fungible floor space index, restrictions on land use, increased property taxes and land lease rates.

Citing an expert report 'Top 10 Emerging Business Destinations in India', Jain said that in the past couple of years, the volume of investment by various companies in the 10 cities had shot up by over seven times.

The cities are: Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Vadodara and Visakhapatnam.

He said that response from the CREDAI's 8,800 developers in 20 states revealed that realtors were not too optimistic about Mumbai.

"Gujarat is an hour's flight from Mumbai that is bound to cause capital flight too," Jain cautioned.

Jain said that even states like Bihar and Punjab had become investor-friendly, while Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand were planning single-window clearances.

"We, the developer community, sincerely hope that the Maharashtra government wakes up to the reality and starts taking immediate corrective measures," he urged.




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