GUWAHATI, April 23 � The�Assam�Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA)�today said that while it was heartening that Assam registered the highest investment in real estate (from 2011-12 to 2014-15 as per the nationwide survey carried out by Assocham), the ground reality was not so inspiring due to the �unfavorable attitude� of the State government.
�The unfavourable attitude has made Assam one of the most difficult States to do business. While on one hand the government goes all over the country and even the world seeking investment, it has failed to sustain investor confidence, with the vast majority of the investors dejected with the business environment in Assam,� AREIDA president PK Sharma said in a statement.
Sharma said that as the markets in the metros are under severe stress, the investors initially turned to the emerging markets in smaller tier-2 and tier-3 cities and Guwahati appeared to hold promise as the only metro in the North-east and the proposed gateway to South East Asia.
Unfortunately, Sharma added, the frequent changes in building byelaws and Master Plan, years of harassment investors face from various State agencies in running after never-ending approvals, and even frequent bans on approvals for prolonged periods, have left the investors a harrowed lot.
�It is well known that real estate activity promotes the interests of a large segment of the population who benefit either in terms of livelihood or an essential roof overhead. It contributes significantly to government revenue; to the extent of 8 per cent of GDP and directly sustains 300 allied industries. It is also the second largest generator of employment after agriculture,� he said, adding that a revenue-deficit State like Assam, which survives on Central grants, can only ill-afford to treat such an economic activity with dishonour.
Sharma said the government discourages real estate development on the ground of inadequate support infrastructure; which is actually the government�s responsibility.
�The realty sector in Assam has always supported only legitimate development in harmony with the ecology. We have always strongly urged the government to protect the interest of the law-abiding citizens by firmly dealing with the hoards of organised illegal encroachers who have destroyed the city by rampant depredation of the green cover, encroachment of government land and forestland, wetlands, drainage channels, hills, and other protected areas and made Guwahati unlivable for the bonafide citizens,� he said, adding that it was not so much the stringently-regulated high-rise buildings as the thousands of unregulated smaller illegal buildings that had been the bane of Guwahati.
Stating that investors do not need Assam as they are welcomed across the country with honour by all progressive States, Sharma said that the realty sector provides huge economic benefits for the government and the people, and that a poor and underdeveloped State like Assam can ill afford to lose it.