Speedy ap­provals must for hous­ing projects

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Realty ex­perts say that while the pas­sage of Real Es­tate (Regulation and De­vel­op­ment) Bill, 2015 is a gamechanger, the govern­ment should also bring about ad­min­is­tra­tive re­forms to speed up ap­proval pro­cesses to avoid pro­ject com­ple­tion de­lays.

“In most states, real es­tate de­vel­op­ers are re­quired to get 40-70 ap­provals be­fore start­ing a pro­ject. Cur­rently, realtors have to seek ap­provals from NHAI, the pol­lu­tion depart­ment, min­istry of en­vi­ron­ment, Air­ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia, and Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion . They also have to get plinth cer­tifi­cates af­ter com­ple­tion of each floor, oc­cu­pancy cer­tifi­cates and ob­tain non-agri­cul­tural land clear­ance for land that is al­ready un­der the city de­vel­op­ment plan,” says Amit Modi, Di­rec­tor, ABA Corp and vice pres­i­dent Credai Western UP.

The pass­ing of the bill will give home­buy­ers the con­fi­dence to re­turn to the mar­ket. The bill will make real es­tate more trans­par­ent and or­gan­ised and re­spon­si­ble builders will pros­per. “We hope the govern­ment will also bring ex­ter­nal de­vel­op­ment charges paid to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties un­der the scope of the reg­u­la­tor to en­sure timely de­liv­ery of in­fra­struc­ture that has been paid for by home­buy­ers. A more for­mal and reg­u­lated in­dus­try should in time also ben­e­fit from im­proved ac­cess to cap­i­tal mar­kets,” says David Walker, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, SARE Homes.

Credai, the um­brella body of real es­tate de­vel­op­ers across the coun­try, says that bring­ing on­go­ing projects un­der the leg­is­la­tion would mean stop­ping work and en­sur­ing com­pli­ance of on­go­ing projects with the new leg­is­la­tion.

“This will not only be time con­sum­ing but will pose in­sur­mount­able dif­fi­cul­ties in de­ter­min­ing the na­ture and scope of regulation for on­go­ing projects. If a pro­ject has al­ready been sold to the ex­tent of 50% and con­struc­tion is un­der­way, it is prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble to make 50% of the pro­ject com­pli­ant with the Act. On the other hand, mak­ing the pro­ject fully com­pli­ant would be ab­surdly in­con­ve­nient and pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive,” it says.

Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter M Venka­iah Naidu said the bill aims to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of buy­ers and bring more trans parency in the sec­tor. “It brings in only a regulation and not stran­gu­la­tion.This Bill is not against any­one...it will re­new in­vestors’ con­fi­dence and en­sure timely com­ple­tion of projects and cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties. In this way, it will help in achiev­ing the tar­get of ‘Hous­ing For All’,” he said.

It is said to be a ma­jor re­form mea­sure to reg­u­late the vast real es­tate sec­torand bring or­der to it. The Bill also pro­vides for im­pris­on­ment of up to three years in case of pro­mot­ers and up to one year in case of real es­tate agents and buy­ers for any vi­o­la­tion of or­ders of Ap­pel­late Tri­bunals or mon­e­tary penal­ties or both. It pro­poses a min­i­mum of 70%col­lec­tions from buy­ers should be de­posited in sep­a­rate es­crow ac­count.

SU­NIL GHOSH

The real es­tate bill will en­sure timely de­liv­ery of projects.

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