Millennium Post

Townships over 50 acre to get land ceiling relaxation: Amit Mitra

Real estate majors can avail relaxation on the existing land ceiling, if they will be willing to build townships over more than 50 acre of land in Bengal.

The state government is ready to provide land ceiling clearance, encouraging the developers to invest. In rural areas of the state, holding land in excess of 24.8 acres requires clearance under section 14Y of West Bengal Land and Land Reforms Act, 1955.

Amit Mitra the state minister for Commerce and Industries, Finance and Excise, on Thursday gave an analysis, saying: “In the project, 25 per cent of the total land must be allocated for the economically weaker sections and 25 per cent for non-residential purposes such as hospitals, educational institutions, roads and parks,” the minister said.

The population of the lower class and underprivileged needs to be addressed while doing business in Bengal, the minister cleared. “Businesses in Bengal will grow with the interests of the poor fully protected and social obligations met. Our policies and transactions are very transparent,” he explained while addressing developers and different stakeholders of the real estate industry at the CII-organised Realty+ Conclave 2016.

The real estate sector is standing with its established demand to reduce land ceiling for mega projects in the state. The West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill 2014, which was cleared by the state Assembly in 2014, has offered this relaxation to infrastructure projects, like transportation terminals, townships and logistics hub.

The state government had earlier sought suggestions from concerned ministries and industry bodies on amending Section 14Y of the West Bengal Land and Land Reforms Act, 1955, in order to grant exemption from land ceiling to certain categories of industry.

Before this amendment the exemption was confined to “tea gardens, mills, factories, workshops, livestock breeding firms,” with no room for modern ventures like information technology. Besides, the amendment would allow developers to take five years’ time from acquisition of land to complete the project, compared to three years earlier.

Mitra shared more good news for developers, saying: “As part of its policy to promote green buildings, the state government will offer 10 per cent more FAR [floor area ratio] on such projects. The same sop awaits the buildings constructed within 500m of Metro rail projects. The state has turned its focus on Tier II and Tier III cities for development. These are the places where the next-level of projects will come up.”

The minister also welcomed real estate leaders to take a fresh look at the proposed theme cities in Siliguri, Asansol, Baruipur, Kalyani and Howrah and consider the vast profit potential they offer.

Six smart themed cities in the state – a Sports city at Howrah, a senior citizens’ city at Baruipur, a health and education city in Siliguri, an industrial city in Asansol, an art and culture city at Bolpur and an analytics city at Kalyani – are proposed. “You can reach to me for any suggestions,” Mitra concluded.
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