Cyprus & World News

CYPRUS: The model for economic development is broken says ETEK

08 August, 2018

The Technical Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK) argues that the current framework of issuing licenses and supervising large construction projects is unfit for purpose.

ETEK feels that their warnings have not been given the appropriate attention, so the chamber decided to publish a list or proposals on the matter given earlier in the year to the Minister of Interior.

It stressed that licensing and supervision are extremely important for the functioning of a modern economy, as they are intertwined with services, entrepreneurship, and the competitiveness of the economy.

“Unfortunately, there has never been a real response. For this reason, the Chamber took the initiative and submitted, in June, a proposal to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides,” said a statement.

At a meeting with the Interior Minister in June, ETEK discussed a radical revision of the legal framework (for urbanisation, roads and construction) and the introduction of a new legislation with a distinct and easily understood structure, with the detailed technical requirements to be included in easy to comprehend technical texts.

According to ETEK chairman Stelios Achniotis, the reasons behind the framework’s failure are many and intertwined.

“Anachronistic legislation, myriad and inevitably fragmented building authorities (35 in total)."

"Uneven interpretation of technical requirements, complete lack of e-Governance tools such as electronic application submission, delays in issuing licenses and approvals, total absence of the building authority during the implementation stage.”

ETEK is putting forward a 21-point proposal to improve all the critical stages of procedures regarding Town Planning Permits, Building permits, Construction Supervision, Issuance of titles and transactions.

ETEK’s proposals are based on four pillars:

1 The fundamental pillar of the proposal is the assignment of further responsibilities to supervisors from the private sector.

2 Another important pillar is the modernization, simplification and improvement of the licensing legislative framework, in the short and long term (radical revision).

3 The improvement of today's building supervision procedures.

4 The restructuring the mode of operation and completion of applications by the planning / building authorities and by the Land Registry.