Gujarat RERA New Guidelines Controversial
Gujarat RERA authority issued an order on 6th May, 2020 introducing revised guidelines for Builders to file the quarterly progress reports (QPR) of their projects. These revised guidelines bring 2 major changes: 1) QPR to be filed based on Financial Year Quarters instead of the existing dynamic quarters basis, 2) QPRs to be filed within 7 days from the end of each financial quarter.
Other announcements in the guidelines include: 1) extension of the due date for filling the quarterly return for the existing registered projects to 7th July, 2020 (considering the current situation of lockdown), 2) promoters who have defaulted in filling any return till march 2020, are given a chance to file return as per the latest work progress as on 30th June, 2020, by 7th July, 2020, (no penalty will be levied for existing default in filing QPR).
While the Developers across the Gujarat are welcoming the measures for extension of due date and waiver of penalty on making good the default, the other change relating to QPR filling system are not being appreciated so much. Reason being:
- For Builders, it is practically not possible to receive all the vouchers and bills, complete accounting, compile all the details, documents and Certificates and file the return within such a short span of seven days after the end of the quarter.
- The return preparation and filling involves co-ordination with three professionals (architect, engineer and chartered accountant) and availability of all three on same dates of the quarter end will not be possible as they have their own commitments as well as they work for multiple projects.
- RERA authority is coming up with the new portal i.e. RERA 2.0 and it will take some time for all the stake holders to get equipped with it. Furthermore current Portal itself operates slow or goes down on 6th and 7th day of each month due to return filling load. Making same return filling due date for all the projects will increase the traffic in some particulars days on the system and server which would add more difficulties for builders.
Harsh Mehta, an Ahmedabad based Chartered Accountant said, “There are many compliances needed to be adhered to under various state and central laws, like TDS, GST, ESIC, PF, Income-Tax, ROC, etc. which are again due on month end, quarter end, half-year end or financial year end. The addition of QPR filling with the same due dates would lead to additional compliance burden within same due dates for Builders. RERA authority should not change the existing return filling mechanism and continue with the QPR to be based on dynamic quarter for easy and timely compliance.”