Oppn backs bill in RS for a sin­gle realty au­thor­ity

Pro-con­sumer bill set to sail through LS, may re­vive sec­tor

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A law to shield prop­erty buy­ers from un­scrupu­lous realtors and reg­u­late the real es­tate sec­tor could soon be­come re­al­ity af­ter the Ra­jya Sabha passed the Real Es­tate (Regulation and De­vel­op­ment) bill on Thurs­day.

The Congress and all ma­jor op­po­si­tion par­ties ex­cept the AIADMK sup­ported the bill that is likely to boost the flag­ging sec­tor. The leg­is­la­tion is likely to sail through the Lok Sabha on Mon­day due to the NDA’s com­mand­ing ma­jor­ity.

Once the bill comes into ef­fect, de­vel­op­ers and agents will have to reg­is­ter all com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial projects — com­ing up on land of 500 square me­tres or eight apart­ments — with state-level real es­tate reg­u­la­tors be­fore launch.

The bill makes it manda­tory for de­vel­op­ers to de­posit 70 % of the money col­lected in an es­crow ac­count so that con­struc­tion isn’t stalled for lack of funds. In an ear­lier ver­sion of the bill, the ceil­ing was fixed at 50 %.

“Real es­tate bill will re­new in­vestors’ con­fi­dence and en­sure timely com­ple­tion of projects and cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties. It is the need of the hour,” hous­ing and ur­ban poverty al­le­vi­a­tion min­is­ter M Venka­iah Naidu told the Ra­jya Sabha.

In case of con­struc­tion de­lays, pro­mot­ers will have to pay con­sumers. If buy­ers de­fault on pay­ment, they will also be fined. The rate of in­ter­est in both cases will be the same.

De­vel­op­ers will have to dis­close all pro­ject in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing a de­tailed lay­out plan, land sta­tus and sta­tus of ap­provals to the reg­u­la­tor.

Any fail­ure or de­vi­a­tion will in­vite a penalty of up to 10 % of the pro­ject cost, jail term of up to three years for pro­mot­ers and up to one year for agents.

“It [the bill] brings in only a regulation and not stran­gu­la­tion. This bill is not against any­one,” said Naidu, who is pi­lot­ing the bill.

In­dia’s 12 lakh crore realestate sec­tor is largely un­reg­u­lated where de­lays of sev­eral years in hand-over and over­shoot­ing of pro­ject costs are com­mon.

>> CON­TIN­UED ON P13

>> RE­LATED RE­PORT, P7

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