Real estate industry awaits govt. stand on RERA
Nearly a month after the government had officially notified the much debated Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (RERA), the real estate industry is watching with much trepidation when and the how the process is going to kick off.
With the government stating that the Municipal Administration & Urban Development (MA&UD) Principal Secretary will be the nodal officer to look into fresh registrations before the actual Real Estate Authority – to take up registrations, and a Real Estate Tribunal – to look into legal tangles is formed, there is a lurking fear that it is going to be a long wait for fresh applications for real estate ventures.
Like every other State, Telangana too tweaked rules to have its own definition of what an “ongoing project” means after setting January 1, 2017, as the cut-off date. It means all the projects which had building approvals but had not obtained the Occupancy Certificate (OC), fell into this category. With three-month window given to such projects till next month-end for registrations, promoters of existing ventures are pretty sanguine in the prevailing market scenario.
That’s okay for the so-called ongoing ones but what about new ventures? Builders and developers are guarded in their responses and observe that it will take a quite a while for the regulatory systems to be in place under the new Act. “No one is in a hurry. We are also waiting and watching how things will unfold. We have been holding discussions among ourselves and if anyone wants to, they can file registrations manually with the government. I am sure it will be accepted as it has been in States like Karnataka. In any case, we are all busy with the GST compliance for now,” says an office-bearer of a prominent national-level real estate organisation, wishing to remain anonymous. Yet, he too was unsure whether such filings could be made as per RERA.
This opinion is not unanimous as few other big time players in the real estate market and actively involved in the discussions with the govt. on the RERA feel otherwise. “It is something to be worried because we have no idea on what sort of infrastructure the government is going to put in place in the interim period. Even for the Authority or the Tribunal to come into final shape, we all know it is going to take a lot of time in designing the website and other paraphernalia besides the issue of tenders to be called and so on. This is apart from selection of competent personnel to man both the key panels,” sighs an office-bearer of another real estate confederation, also unwilling to be identified.
Another real estate developer wondered aloud, “What will happen if small ventures take up construction without waiting for registration process to be framed? It cannot be ruled out!”
“New projects are getting affected, there are at least 100 new ventures ready to begin and do not know how. All this will directly affect the economy and thereby employment,” says another developer grimly. However, most say that the fluid situation is not unique to TS and is in fact applicable to most States across the country because each State took its own sweet time to notify RERA and gave a different definition to what an “ongoing project” is.
There is also a chance of these issues landing up in courts considering the convoluted manner in which the issue is being handled, is an opinion expressed in some quarters.