DHAKA: Local land developers Saturday urged the government to ensure same opportunities to be set for the foreign investors in protecting the country`s housing industry.
Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and Bangladesh Land Developers’ Association (BLDA) came up with the plea in a joint press conference this morning at a city hotel.
BLDA President and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said, “As a businessman, I welcome foreign investment but first of all, we have to protect the interests of local companies when we have failed to handover thousands of flats due to lack of gas and electricity.”
He said, “The government should provide similar opportunities for the local companies like the foreign one. Thus a fair and same level competition will be created.”
The local companies are capable in investing more than the foreign investors, he added.
The BLDA president said, “For the foreign investors, several lakh acres of land are available in different areas in the country, including Nijhum Deep and Mirsarai rather than Dhaka.”
The top businessman of the country said, “If the government signs MoU with the foreign investors over one lakh acres land requisition, they should sign another MoU of two lakh land requisition for REHAB and BLDA.”
The BLDA president stated that the government acquires land at Tk 100,000 or Tk 200,000 per bigha while BLDA has to acquire the same land at Tk 50 lakh to Tk 2 crore. “The farmers become deprived if government acquires land which could trigger unrest,” the newsmen were told.
The difference between the price of governmental requisition and private will create an uneven competition. “That’s why Public Private Partnership (PPP) is important to secure the interest of the farmers by generating balanced competition,” he said.
“I believe that the government would not do anything to infringe the interest of the country. The incumbent democratic government repeatedly said that they would provide us land and we would develop that,” he said.
Regarding the Sahara boss Subrata Roy’s allegation of building Dhaka as the jungle of cement, he said, land is the main hindrance of urbanizing Dhaka. It happened due to the scarcity of land or lack of urban plan.
“If the government gives us land, we can build up better city than the foreign investors,” he claimed.
Regarding Rajuk, he said this organization doesn’t follow its own urbanization strategy rather filling the ditches. “Journalists should be careful in this regard,” he said.
At the press conference, REHAB President Nasrul Hamid Bipu read out a written speech.
He said, “We want to talk about foreign investment rather than a particular company. Like previous, I am urging the government to provide us land.”
Nasrul also told journalists that it is a crucial moment of the housing industry as 70 percent investment has been already stopped. “Without government assistance it will be difficult to survive in this sector,” he said.
BLDA general secretary Mostafa Kamal Mohiuddin, REHAB joint secretary Major (retd) Jamshed Hasan PSC, Arshi Hayder, chairman of REHAB Land Standing Committee M Aktar Biswas, M Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana and managing director of Building Technology and Ideas FR Khan were among others present at the press meet.
BDST: 1835 HRS, JUN 02, 2012
Kaiser Ahmed, Newsroom Editor
Abul Kalam Azad, Newsroom Editor
M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor