A day after the Cabinet cleared a bill to regulate the real estate industry and protect homebuyers’ interests, the state government on Wednesday demanded clarity from the Centre on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill.
Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, asked whether the bill was a model legislation or was binding on all states. “We have sought clarification from the Central government on this issue, as the State Regulatory Body is awaiting the President’s nod,” said Ahir.
The bill seeks to regulate the real estate industry and safeguard the interests of homebuyers. It makes registration of builders with a state real estate regulatory authority and full disclosure on projects mandatory. It also lists penal clauses for errant builders for various violations or delays.
Ahir stressed the need for state independence in forming rules. “Every state has its own Development Control Rules (DCR) and wants to frame rules of the regulation,” he said, adding that the state regulatory bill has similar clauses. The state bill, in addition, includes the provision to form an appellate authority, with powers of the civil court, which is excluded from the Central bill, said Ahir.
The real estate industry has so far flourished unchecked, giving immense power to developers and leaving homebuyers at their mercy.
Housing activists, however, said that a strong real estate regulator was the need of the hour, irrespective of whether it comes from the Central or state government. “We want rules to make builders accountable, as buyers have been always at receiving end for years,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association.