Clear land titles and digitalization of land records pushing the envelope for industrial & logistics sector

As of Q4-22 the Industrial & Logistics sector saw healthy leasing activity across all eight cities and the momentum is picking up at a steady pace. In the second half of 2022, Delhi NCR witnessed warehouse leasing of around 8 million sq ft, followed by Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. In almost all these markets, demand is driven by the 3PL, retail, consumer durables and logistics players. Industrial leasing also remained dominant, thus contributing considerably to the total leasing volume, which is almost double the 2021 numbers.

A report observed that around 68% of the net demand has been in the Grade A space owing to the rising demand for quality spaces. The report further anticipates that by 2025 the warehousing stock in the eight major cities will cross around 450 million sq. ft, which was around 300 M.S.F. in 2022.

While there is an accelerated demand for technically specialized facilities from 3PL, Ecommerce, Retail, and specialized manufacturing sectors, clear land titles and digitalization push the envelope for a higher growth trajectory.

The Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP), which is a revamped version of the National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP), clearly defined the objective to build upon the commonalities that exist in the arena of land records in various States. It further aims to develop an appropriate integrated land information management system across the country to facilitate different States to add State-specific needs as they may deem relevant and appropriate.

This has been a big step in infusing discipline and structure into the Industrial & Logistics sector and is acting as a catalyst to accelerate the investment velocity in the sector. Digitalization and clear titles also reduced the fraudulent activities which were prevalent earlier, and it made it easier for investors and buyers to zero in large land parcels. Under DILRMP one can easily identify a land parcel through a 14-digit unique identification number or the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN), thus standardising the entire process of land acquisition.

The digitalization of land also made titling conclusive thus cutting down the high litigation costs associated with disputed titles. From a transaction point of view, the digitalization of land will provide clear titles of ownership which a developer can leverage to reduce the cost associated with construction. This will also reduce the construction timelines and will give a further boost to the industrial & logistics sector to attract quality investments.

The entire process of digitalization will create greater transparency thus speeding up the entire process of land acquisition. The digital compilation of land data which has already boosted the government initiative to drive industrialization will further open doors for the warehousing sector to give wings to their expansion plan, thus witnessing further growth in the coming years.

Digitalization of land and availability of authentic and clear titles will also boost the confidence of global players who are keen on setting up facilities in India as a part of their China+1 strategy, thus giving the much-needed push to the industrial and logistics sector.

This article has been authored by Abhijit Verma, Founder & MD, Avinya Logistics & Industrial Parks.

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