Will single-window clearance speed up project delivery in Mumbai?


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Single Window Clearance

While the single-window clearance approved by BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to be a game changer for Mumbai’s realty, developers are patiently waiting for its implementation to gauge the actual benefits.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently announced the launch of single-window clearance for the construction of a property. Under the new system, the number of required approvals have come down to 58 from 119, a 52 per cent reduction. This is expected to reduce the overall turnaround time to about 60 days from the current timeline of over one year. Developer fraternity is hailing the move, however, they pointed out that its quick implementation will be the key.

Welcoming the move, Ramesh Ranganathan, Business Head, North and West, Mahindra Lifespaces says, “Single-window clearance and a time-bound approach can reduce uncertainties, resulting in a decline in the cost of risk capital, which will ultimately benefit the customer.”

“It is exactly what the infrastructure sector needs in order to throw off the inertia that has crept into the market and is an excellent initiative by the government. This will go a long way in increasing the positive sentiment in the industry as we have been demanding it since quite a while,” says Chintan Sheth - Director, Sheth Corp.

The industry has been demanding single-window clearance for a long time now. If implemented, this has the potential to bring down property prices substantially. For the industry, it might help root out anomaly between various government departments which is also a time-consuming exercise. This would also result in more transparency as fewer developers would resort to other means of obtaining approvals. Often, there are many projects that get stalled due to paperwork.

With the number of approvals coming down, projects are expected to be completed much faster than before which is a positive development for the industry. It will also result in a quicker handover to the home buyer. “This will definitely bring down the cost as delay in approvals in turn hits the project completion, which has a direct bearing on the final cost of the product,” says Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group.

This will also allow the end-users to reschedule the loan repayment, according to timely delivery. The developers too can now schedule repayment of debts and loans much sooner. Yagnik says “Financial institutions will not be averse to lending to this sector, knowing well that projects will be completed on time and are not stalled due to permissions.”

Hariprakash Pandey, Senior Vice President (Finance), HDIL says “Developers will be able to increase supply, which will not only help address the country’s massive housing shortage, but also increase the government’s revenue collections through increased stamp duty and registrations.”

However, implementation of the single-window approval system will be the key. According to Ramesh Nair, COO -Business and International Director, JLL India, “An acid test of the system will be the quick disposal of a massive backlog of building proposals. On an average, 1500 projects have entered the system for approval each year, while MCGM granted only 730 OCCs and 118 BCCs.”

Under the new system, both state and central government’s approval will be integrated. While the work on integration of approvals from Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has started, others are yet to be integrated.

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