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Vandana Ramnani, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 06, 2013
Promises not kept. Delays not compensated for. Apartments not delivered to specifications. Funds diverted to other projects.

India’s home buyers who have frequently faced complaints like these in buying roofs to rest under can take heart. The planned law to regulate the real estate industry is out to plug holes that will make home buying easier for millions.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2013 cleared by the cabinet this week — and headed for Parliament eventually — will set up a regulatory watchdog and a dispute resolution mechanism to help home buyers.

Once the law is in place, developers can launch projects only after getting all official clearances — such as floor area ratio (FAR). And carpet area, rather than the vague super area, will be the measure in a property sale.

“Provisions such as restricting launch of projects or advertisements unless all approvals are received... and sale of projects based on carpet area will indeed help bring in transparency,” said Sachin Sandhir, managing director, South Asia for RICS, a UK-based realty industry body.

Builders call the Bill a watershed but said they could also do with some help.

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“The bill in its current form does not provide any relief in terms of getting through the cumbersome approvals and permissions process in any expeditious manner,” said Getamber Anand, chairman of ATS Infrastructure and president-elect, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India.

“The Bill improves transparency and entitles allottees a refund in the case of a project default at their will,” said Amit Jain, director-general of the Federation of Apartment Owners Associations.