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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

PMO steps in to expedite pending Real estate bill

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 15, 2013
First Published: 22:03 IST(15/1/2013) | Last Updated: 22:52 IST(15/1/2013)

With differences between two ministries -- Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development – threatening to further delay the long pending Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has stepped in and directed the sparring ministries to quickly resolve their issues over the bill which aims to protect property buyer's interest from unscrupulous realtors.

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The turf war started after the housing ministry which had drafted the bill moved the cabinet last October to get it cleared. The urban development ministry stepped in at the eleventh hour and wanted to make a fresh bill claiming that the subject comes under their jurisdiction. Urban development minister Kamal Nath had also shot off a letter to PMO in this regard. 

Now, under pressure from PMO, the two ministries met representatives of real estate developers’ associations and industry houses on Tuesday to get them on board.

The meeting was chaired by housing minister Ajay Maken and urban development minister Kamal Nath and attended by representatives of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India, National Real Estate Development Council, Confederation of Indian Industries, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry among others.

Sources said that the real estate developers’ associations have been asked to submit their view to us in the next couple of days following which another round of consultation will be held.

Talking to HT, housing minister Ajay Maken, however, said that the housing ministry is pretty keen to finalize the bill soon so that it can be introduced during the forthcoming Budget session.

"We want to ensure that the bill gets introduced during the budget session. We are working towards it."

The builder’s lobby is opposed to the setting up of a regulator on the grounds that it is very consumer friendly and will hurt developers interest.

“It won’t serve any purpose and will only add to the multiplicity of authorities,” said a real estate industry representative who attended the meeting.

The bill proposes setting up of a real estate regulatory authority at every state. All such builders — developing a project where the land exceeds 1000 square metre — will have to register themselves with the body before launching or even advertising their project.

Failure to do so will invite up to a maximum three years imprisonment or fine of up to 10% of the total project cost.

Only developers who fulfill this disclosure clause would be permitted to advertise their project to prospective buyers.

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