The Cabinet cleared controversial Land Acquisition Bill today. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Vikas Oberoi, chairman of Oberoi Realty says the industry is very clear that unless and until the project is viable, they wouldn’t get into one. "I am more worried about the bureaucratic red-tapism," he adds.
Below is the edited transcript of his interview on CNBC-TV18.
Q: The discussion on the proposed Land Acquisition Bill has been on for months now. A lot of it has been publically discussed and debated. We are not sure of the fine print at this point in time. But what was discussed in public and was available as public information seems to have been cleared by the Cabinet. Do you think this is going to work for industry or make things harder and more cumbersome for industry?
A: Firstly, one really doesn’t know what the fine print is. But if one looks at it principally, I would certainly believe that the compensation to any landholder, from whom you are taking land, should be fair and just.
I continue to believe that government should not get into the bureaucratic red-tapism of going through a long process of acquiring land. We are in a democratic country. Once you know that if land acquisition of a particular nature is good for the country or the people then I think one should be able to go ahead and do that, barring the fact that you should be paying enough or paying the right price to the person from whom you are acquiring land.
Q: Would you be more worried about the cumbersome process now that is involved in actually getting a transaction done or about the compensation and the cost escalation that projects are likely to face on account of the compensation?
A: I think the industry is very clear that unless and until the project is viable, they wouldn’t get into one. I am more worried about the bureaucratic red-tapism. I am hearing that files are going to be going through probably 100 or 200 hands before it actually fructifies and becomes a project. So, I am more worried about that.
One can say that the project itself will be viable and acceptable only if it fits within the cost. So, I am not so worried about the cost. I clearly believe that anyone who is parting with land should get a fair compensation. But one shouldn’t go through the entire process.
For complete interview, watch the accompanying video.