Cabinet may take up real estate regulation, development Bill today

Financial Express, November 01, 2012

After the tweaking of certain provisions that will empower the state governments to have freedom over regulation and implementation, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation will take the much-awaited Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill before Union Cabinet for its consideration on Thursday.

The Bill calls for setting up of a Central Appellate Tribunal and Real Estate Regulatory Authority at the Centre. It allows the state governments to also set up a similar authority in every state to deal with lands in the states.

Talking to media after taking charge of the ministry, Ajay Maken said: ?I would try to introduce the real estate Bill in the winter session of Parliament.”

However, experts said the draft legislation provides only mild punishment for selling a project without registration. As per the Bill, the proposed regulator can impose a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of up to 10% of the project cost or both to developers found guilty of violation of the provisions of the Bill. Any violation of the contractual conditions will attract jail-term of up to one year or fine amounting to 5% of the project cost, or both.

All developers or builders whose plot size is over 1,000 square metres will have to register themselves with the regulator before launching or even advertising the venture, said the draft Bill, which recently got the law ministry’s approval. As per the draft Bill, the minimum size of the land to be covered under the proposed law was kept at 4,000 square metres. However, further to the discussions with stakeholders, the land size has been reduced to 1,000 square metres, sources said.

The proposed Bill also aims to prevent unscrupulous real estate developers from undermining the interest of the consumers. The housing ministry is planning to introduce the Bill in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting November 22, an official said. Under the provisions of the Bill, real estate companies will be required to furnish various details related to project such as approved layout plan, cost, sales agreement proposal, timelines to the regulator.

Also, it will become mandatory for the developers to obtain permission from the real estate regulatory authority before advertising about their projects. The Bill also outlines the responsibility of the proposed regulatory authority. It will be mandatory for the regulator to give clearance to registration of properties in a time-bound manner (within 30 days).

Also, the authority will have to furnish detailed reports every quarter on status of properties registered, delays, if any, with reasons. In case of delay in property registration, the Bill provides help to the developer in accessing the website of the regulator where it can also register the details directly.

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