As a new president takes up the post, I submit some suggestions that would improve the real estate and construction industry.
The adoption of deputy ministers by the previous government proved worthy. The two original deputy ministers, for tourism and shipping, showed very good results from the beginning and based on their success, other deputy ministries were adopted. A deputy minister should also be appointed for the Ministry of Interior, to handle issues related to town planning and the lands office, permits and so much more. It is impossible for the Ministry of Interior to handle everything effectively and a deputy ministry be more effective.
Common expenses are a curse for the industry that has not been solved due to a lack of interest from the state and parties. Immediate discussion and resolution of the issue should be a priority.
We have been overloaded with commissioners of various qualities and efficiency. When it comes to personal data for example, no one knows what applies and where. Can someone install cameras at their residence? The first thing police ask when investigating a crime is whether there are cameras to use the footage as evidence, however their installation may be illegal and perhaps non-admissible in court?
The insurance commissioner maintains silence on many things, even though many complaints have been made. Incomprehensible approaches from insurance companies leave customers helpless.
Another serious matter is that of legislation not being implemented, as is on the state not providing a timely response to letters. The legislation requires a response from the public service within 30 days of a citizen’s petition, while in practice there is no response.
Affordable housing is another troubled affair and, apart from subsidies, the previous government had no serious solutions. And yet there are, such as the reduction of VAT to 5 per cent from 19 per cent with suspension.
Procedures for the issuance of titles cannot be accelerated under the existing system which is 50 years old. This can be overcome by the involvement of the private sector.
There are many other issues, such as the minimum extent required for units, which increases the cost of acquiring a home by 30 per cent, the wasted state land, the impunity of ministers and civil servants whose mistake affect people while they are never held responsible and the tolerance of illegal structures.
The success or failure of the new president will depend on the quality of the people he appoints to the various positions.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]