The Maple Group apologised to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune guardian minister Girish Bapat for creating wrong perceptions through advertisements for houses.
“We express sincere and deepest apologies for any harm/inconvenience caused to them due to the wrong perception caused by the advertisement. If there are some inadvertent mistakes, we are willing to take necessary corrective actions,” group CMD Sachin Agarwal said in a statement.
Agarwal added that the company has begun refunding the application money against receipts from their head office, an amount of Rs 1,150 that was earlier treated as non-refundable.
The group would also issue appropriate media advertisements and clarifications to reconfirm that its projects are self-developed but the benefits of the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme, available to beneficiaries under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY), can be available from financial institutions.
The development came four days after the PMAY and the Maharashtra government ordered a probe into the claims made by Maple Group offering one-bedroom-hall-kitchen (1BHK) for only Rs 5 lakh.
The ads carrying pictures of Modi, Fadnavis and Bapat conveyed an impression that it was a government-sponsored scheme under PMAY, though a disclaimer read: “It’s a Maple Shelters initiative aligned to the PMAY and not a government scheme.”
The allotment of 10,000 flats at 14 locations in and around Pune - through a lottery system - was expected to take place on Maharashtra Housing Day on May 1.
“Maple Group regrets the confusion caused regarding Maharashtra Housing Day, we will refund the application fees,” Agarwal said, adding that the company will cooperate with authorities in their probe but remained passionate about providing affordable houses to the masses.