Building lobby urges Bengal to repeal urban land ceiling act

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 16:50 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) Contrary to the West Bengal government's claim that land was not an "issue" for industrial development in the state, CREDAI, the apex body for the country's private real estate developers, Thursday said the state should repeal its urban land ceiling act.

Real estate firms have been demanding that the Mamata Banerjee government should do away with the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act (ULCA) as West Bengal is one of the few states to have such a legislation, which is hindering launch of major real estate projects in the state.

"It is surprising that Bengal has an urban ceiling act. The entire country has abolished that act and got benefited by it as the prices of the land stabilised and it ensured more supply," Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) president Lalit Jain said.

"Land being the state subject, the reforms has to take place here," Jain told reporters on the sidelines of 'Bengal Builds', a three-day conclave on urban infrastructure development here.

Jain's comment came just after state Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, during his speech at the same event, claimed that there was "no issue" related to land acquisition in the state.

"Where is the problem of land? The problem is the perception for the 34 years (of Left Front rule) that nothing has happened," Chatterjee said.

Talking to the mediapersons, Jain also said the state should raise the floor area ratio (FAR) to five from 1.5-3 at present for the construction of tall buildings in order to address the problem non-availability of space.

He suggested that the local taxes and stamp duty should be brought down in the state.

"The state has to rationalize its taxation policies," he observed.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, said the government would constitute a task force to identify the problems regarding development of urban infrastructure.

The task force would report to the cabinet committee on infrastructure.

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