Racing against time, Centre writes to states to speed up real estate bill

Racing against time to commence the new, consumer-friendly real estate law from May 1, Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has written to states to notify their rules.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2017 23:16 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Real Estate,Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act,Urban Development Ministry
Besides new projects, the consumer-friendly real estate law covers all ongoing projects, irrespective of when they were launched.(HT File/ Representational photo)

Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has written to chief ministers of states that have not drawn up rules for India’s first real estate law, making a “sincere request” to speed up the process for mechanisms that will help lakhs of homebuyers stuck with delayed projects.

The Union government’s Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 — which sets up authorities to settle real estate sector cases— comes into force from May 1 this year but states first need to decide on specific protocols as land laws fall in their domain.

The law is expected to lay down redress mechanisms for consumers in cases such as delayed delivery of flats, a problem that has blighted a largely unregulated sector.

“In absence of appellate mechanism and a regulator, the consumers will have to rush to the courts if they are in disagreement with the realtor. It will lead to sheer harassment,” an urban development ministry official said, explaining the scenario when a central law is in force but mechanisms to implement it are missing.

In his letter, Naidu referred to this scenario as “vacuum” that will hit “one of the most important reforms for the sector…”

“It is therefore, my sincere request to please bestow your personal attention to this matter so that the Act is implemented in time,” Naidu wrote.

So far, rules have been notified by only four states -- Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. The Centre has notified rules for six Union Territories including Delhi.

Realtors have particularly opposed putting existing projects under the ambit of the law. The rules announced by some states have diluted the central law, playing into the hands of builders.

In his letter, Naidu urged CMs to ensure they pass rules in accordance with the law passed by Parliament.

Gujarat has left out all projects that came up before October 2016 while Uttar Pradesh diluted the definition to keep majority of the ongoing projects out of the ambit of the law.

Maharashtra’s rule has kept project-related details that a developer has to upload on the regulator’s website from public viewing.

First Published: Feb 12, 2017 19:58 IST