YOUR LENDER? BUYERS SHOULD NOT DEPEND ON BANKS
Senior banker and former chief general manager of the State Bank of India, Bhaskar Niyogi, says that the onus is on the buyer to thoroughly investigate a project he or she plans to invest in, except in cases where the project has been approved by banks.
“Irrespective of the fact that banks have to do the due diligence, the first touch point is between the buyer and the builder. Just like bankers have certain responsibilities, so does the buyer. The problem stems from the inadequacies in the land records and the ease with which so-called duplicates can be obtained, includ- ing title deeds. In such cases, the culpability of the land record personnel, legal and related functionaries cannot be ruled out. That does not mean that bank officials are not responsible,” he adds
Niyogi, who is currently head, consultant, risk at Ratnakar Bank Ltd, says the problem is also because bankers depend to a large extent on the legal advice outsourced to legal firms. “Banks should develop domain experts. This will happen over time within the ambit of banks’ policies. The lacunae can be removed once all land records are computerised, like in Tamil Nadu,” he adds.