Sunday, June 3, 2012

Realtors protest Sahara's entry

Deal with Sahara: REHAB & BLDA demand matching facilities from Govt.

Nasrul Hamid Bipu and Ahmed Akbar Sobhan
Bangladeshi real estate and land developer companies said on Saturday, June 02, 2012 that they would invest many times more than India’s Sahara Group to develop housing in the country if the government give them matching facilities.
They said the government should have consulted them before signing a MoU with Sahara seeking investment in setting up of satellite cities close to the capital Dhaka.
On May 23, 2012 the government signed an MoU with Indian company, Sahara India Pariwar for developing a ‘new city’ on the outskirts of Dhaka having ‘affordable housing for low income group people.’
In a press conference organized by Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and Bangladesh Land Developers Association (BLDA) yesterday, the local developers demanded that the government should have a dialogue with them before going ahead with the Sahara's proposal.
“Now, if the government allows Sahara to acquire land at government rates, which is way lower than that of a developer offers, will create an unfair competition in the sector,” said Nasrul Hamid, president of REHAB.
He also said the local developers feel hard done by as the government did not approach them for suggestions and insights before approaching the Indian conglomerate.
After signing the deal, Sahara India Pariwar chairman Subrata Roy Sahara told a news conference that his company would initially invest 120 to 125 million US dollars in Bangladesh’s real estate sector for which he had asked for 100,000 acres of land on the outskirts of Dhaka from the government.
REHAB and BLDA leaders said that they were requesting the government for long to provide them the land to develop satellite cities around the capital.
‘We have been requesting the government to provide land for developing satellite cities around the capital. But the government did not respond to our proposal,’ BLDA president and Bashundhara Group chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan told the news conference.
He said that Bangladeshi companies were not being able to handover thousands of apartments to their buyers for lack of gas and electricity for last three years.
Replying to a question, he said, foreign investment in housing could be allowed only after protecting the interests of the vibrant domestic industry.
He said that Bangladeshi companies had the capacity to go for big investments for such projects.
He said foreign real estate companies could be allowed to invest in Chittagong and other cities of the country.
If the government provides to Shara 100,000 acres of land in Dhaka, the obvious question that would arise is why BLDA and REHAB would not get comparable or more land as they could invest many times more than Sahara had offered, he said.
Asked whether foreign investment could create competition, he said, ‘Let the government provide us 200,000 acres of land first, 100,000 acres to each association, to create a level playing field for competition.’
‘We would be able invest many times more than what India’s Sahara has offered to invest in the sector given the matching facilities,’ he said.
REHAB president Nasrul Hamid Bipu, a ruling party lawmaker, in a written statement, said that the government should have consulted them before allowing a foreign company set satellite cities close to Dhaka.
He asked the government to sign MoUs with REHAB and BLDA like the MoU it had signed with Sahara for developing satellite cities.
Bipu called for protecting the interest of the domestic industries first.
When his attention was drawn to newspaper reports that Sahara Pariwar was facing charges of tax evasion in an Indian court, Bipu said the government must look into the reputation of foreign companies before allowing them to invest in Bangladesh.
BLDA secretary Mustafa Kamal Mohiuddin, former president of REHAB Tanveerul Haque Probal, joint secretary of REHAB Major (retd) Jamshed Hassan, EC members of REHAB Arshi Haider and M Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana were among others present at the news conference.

1 comment:

Zumi said...

Hope things will fall in its proper places. Anyways, big thanks for sharing this with us. Keep posting.

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