Interior Minister Nicos Nouris on Monday presented a bill on strategic investments before the House Interior Committee saying that its main goal is to simplify the procedures in Cyprus.
The proposed bill, if approved, will help out efforts to attract more foreign investors to the island, he added.
“On the basis of specific criteria, investors will have the opportunity, within a maximum of 12 months, to obtain the necessary permits and planning and construction permits,” he also said.
He then explained that an investor will no longer have to go through the bad procedures of the past and will only need to turn to the Project Manager who will be the link between the licensing service and himself/herself.
As for the duration of issuance of relevant licenses, this should not exceed one year – at the most.
“The introduction of fast licensing mechanisms – FAST TRACK, at all levels, creates a new growth potential, reduces inconvenience and makes Cyprus an attractive investment destination,” the Minister said.
At the same time, the government has put into practice its promise to resolve town planning problems and to accelerate licensing process through three reform measures, he added.
And by extending the Town Planning Incentives Plan for an additional period of two years, arbitrary small-size construction can be legalised. So far, this Plan has benefited 1,400 applicants, out of a total of 2,069.
He also said that through the issuance of a Ministerial Decree the licensing of low-risk residential development (up to double occupancy) will be allowed. The planning permission issued will be for a maximum of 30 days and the building permit for the same day only.
“Our proposal essentially eliminates the inconvenience of applicants who, up until today, had to resort to a plethora of services to build a simple home, incur huge financial costs and wait months for license to be issued,” he also said.
“With this decree, the responsibility of licensing is transferred to the reviewer. This arrangement is expected to benefit about 50% of all town planning applications,” he added.