Centre writes to states to speed up real estate bill
Racing against time to commence the new, consumer-friendly real estate law from May 1, Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has written to states to notify their rules.
The minister has warned that the absence of a regulatory authority and appellate tribunals in states, the implementation of the Act “would be affected, leading to a vacuum in the sector”.
He also reminded the chief ministers that buyers will be “entitled to seek relief under the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 with effect from May 1 this year”.
So far, rules have been notified by only 4 states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. The Centre has notified rules for six Union Territories including Delhi.
Apart from the delay in notifying rules, the dilution of some key areas by some states to benefit builders has also raised alarm bells. The government has forwarded the complaints regarding violations of provisions to the Committee on Subordinate Legislation of the Rajya Sabha.
States can make changes to the central law depending on their requirement but they can’t change completely the parent Act.
Gujarat has left out all ongoing projects that have come before October 2016 while Uttar Pradesh diluted the definition to keep majority of the ongoing projects out of the ambit of the law. Maharashtra’s rule has kept out project related details that a developer has to upload on the regulator’s website from public viewing.
As of now, the real estate sector is largely unregulated in India. If a consumer had a complaint against a developer he would had to make rounds of consumer or civil courts. Also, the absence of standardisation and lack of adequate consumer protection has constrained the healthy and orderly growth of the industry.
“The Real Estate Act is one of the most important reforms for the sector, which would bring benefits to all stakeholders. It is therefore, my sincere request to please bestow your personal attention to this matter so that the Act is implemented in time and in the spirit with which it was passed by the Parliament”, Naidu has written.