Karnataka govt calls for applications to set up permanent RERA authority

Karnataka govt calls for applications to set up permanent RERA authority
24/11/2018 , by , in News/Views

To dispel the perception that the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) has not been properly implemented in Karnataka, the state government has initiated the process of setting up a permanent Real Estate Regulatory Authority, a long-pending demand.

On Tuesday, the state issued a notification to set up the RERA authority comprising a chairman and two members and sought applications for the posts.

“Karnataka has woken up quite late to the need to form a permanent RERA authority. However, this is a welcome move. At least now the state government has started moving in the right direction,” said Abhay Upadhay, member of central advisory council, RERA.

While the Centre enacted RERA in May last year, Karnataka took two more months to implement it. However, the process is still not complete as there is no RERA authority in place and the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal is yet to be set up. Currently, the home secretary holds the position of RERA chairman as an additional charge.

“That RERA has not been effectively implement in Karnataka has been a genuine concern. The government has now embarked on appointing the chairman and members of the authority,” said home minister UT Khader, who met a delegation of Forum for People’s Collective Efforts on Monday. The team had urged Khader to rectify the shortcomings in Karnataka RERA, following which the notification was issued on Tuesday.

Officials from the housing department said applications have already started coming in. “The initial response has been good and we hope there’ll be a good number of applications before the last date of submission ( December 15),” said housing secretary J Ravishankar.

Who’s eligible

A retired IAS officer, who has twenty years of experience in fields such as administration, urban development, housing, infrastructure development, can apply for the post of the chairman. Any retired bureaucrat with 15 years of experience is eligible to be a member of the authority.

The chairman’s post is seen to be a coveted one. The person appointed will not just have the authority to regulate the lucrative real estate sector, but would also draw a salary equivalent to that of the chief secretary (Rs 1.5 lakh per month), apart from other allowances. Members’ salary will be equivalent to that of a secretary to the state government (Rs 1.2 lakh per month), plus allowances.

Interestingly, most of the former bureaucrats who have applied for the chief information commissioner’s (CIC) post are also keen on applying for the RERA chairman’s post. “What is significant about these positions is that there is a scope to put expertise and administrative experience to good use. I may apply,” said M Lakshminarayana, who recently retired as additional chief secretary and is in the race for CIC post.

The government has also notified the process of setting up the RERA Appellate Tribunal comprising a judicial member and a technical/ administrative member. A retired judicial officer is eligible to be a judicial member and a retired IAS officer, well-versed in areas like housing, infrastructure development, is eligible to become an administrative member.

“Setting up of these bodies is only a part of the larger process. What’s needed is rectifying the lacunae in the Karnataka RERA Act. I hope the independent authority will be able to do it,” said MS Shankar, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts.

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