RERA Has Infused Governance In Unregulated Realty Sector: Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri Minister of India and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said in an article that RERA has infused governance in a hitherto unregulated sector. Along with demonetization and GST, it has, to a large extent, cleansed the real estate sector of black money. It has transformational provisions, conscientiously addressing issues which have been a constant bane for the sector. The Act stipulates that no project can be sold without project plans being approved by the competent authority and the project being registered with the regulatory authority, putting to an end the practice of selling on the basis of deceitful advertisements.
Promoters are required to maintain “project based separate bank accounts” to prevent fund diversion. The mandatory disclosure of unit sizes based on “carpet area” strikes at the root of unfair trade practices. The provision for payment of “equal rate of interest” by the promoter or the buyer in case of default reinforces equity. These and many other provisions have empowered consumers, rectifying the power asymmetry prevalent in the sector.
RERA is a seminal effort in cooperative federalism. Though the Act has been piloted by the Central government, the rules are to be notified by state governments, and the regulatory authorities and the appellate tribunals are also to be appointed by them. The regulatory authorities are required to manage the day-to-day operations, resolve disputes, and run an active and informative website for project information.
Since RERA came into full force, 34 states and Union territories have notified the rules, 30 states and Union territories have set up real estate regulatory authorities and 26 have set up appellate tribunals. The operationalization of a web-portal for project information, which is at the heart of ensuring full project transparency, has been operationalized by 26 regulatory authorities. Around 60,000 projects and 45,723 real estate agents have been registered with regulatory authorities. Twenty-two independent judicial officers have been appointed to redress consumer disputes, and 59,649 complaints have been disposed-off.
RERA is to the real estate sector what SEBI is to the securities market. As I have always said, the history of urban India and of the real estate sector will always be remembered in two phases — “Pre RERA” and “Post RERA”.