NEW DELHI: The government is seeking help from architects to redesign its construction permits system after the World Bank in its latest ranking on ease of doing business placed India among the bottom five of the 190 countries on this count. In its report, the multilateral lender said India has not managed to shift online its construction permits system which entails more than 29 sets of procedures.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has asked more than 100 architects to point out the problem areas and is informing them of the steps being taken by the government to ease processes, officials said. “We have taken a lot of steps to digitise but it does not seem to be reaching the ground,” a senior official said.
The ministry of urban development has said that it will bring down the number of procedures to eight for Delhi and Mumbai. The World Bank’s ranking takes into account the reforms done in these two cities only. Besides construction permits India is ranked poorly at 172 for paying taxes and enforcing contracts, and 155 for starting a business.
DIPP has started collecting feedback on all the ten parameters of the World Bank study as part of efforts to improve India’s rank next year. India managed to move up just one spot in the ranking, compared to its performance last year, to 130. The government said many of the reforms done in the country were not counted by World Bank.
India is aiming for a quantum leap of 80 spots next year to rank among the world’s top 50 countries for ease of doing business.
The ten criteria for the ranking include getting electricity, enforcing contracts, starting business, registering property, resolving insolvency, construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes and trade across borders.
Meanwhile, DIPP has come up with a 294-point action agenda for the state ranks this year, focusing on specific sectoral reforms in areas including transport, state excise and licences for health, drug, pharma and fertilizer industry.
Need to Boost Transparency
The Union Budget has proposed several measures to boost transparency in real estate. And in tandem what is required are concrete steps to remove opacity in the award of construction permits. We do need to put in place norms to shore up construction activity, by duly rationalising systems and procedures. It would better to coagulate funds on the ground and considerably improve the overall ease of doing business.
Credits ET Realty