States, Union Territories dilute RERA to favour realtors

NEW DELHI: The Union housing ministry may claim that implementation of the real estate regulation law, popularly called RERA, will usher in a new era for home buyers, but the rules put forward by states have diluted many provisions, keeping most of ongoing projects outside the ambit of the law that would come into effect from Monday.

States such as Odisha and Bihar have notified rules that are completely in sync with the one notified by the Union housing and poverty alleviation ministry. In contrast, Haryana’s draft rules, notified last week, have completely left out disclosures by builders on the sanctioned plan, layout and specifications at the time of booking with all subsequent changes till date.

“This omission will give legal colour to all unilateral changes done by builders and will give them an escape route to avoid paying compensation to home buyers,” said Abhay Upadhyay, president of Fight for RERA, the nationwide home buyers’ body, which campaigned for the law.

Similarly, in Maharashtra, a provision has been included to allow builders to take out or divest from a project after occupancy certificate has been issued. This means, the builder can pull out its entire investment before completion of common areas, facilities and amenities.

In UP, the norms related to compounding of offences have been diluted as no specific amount has been mentioned. “There is provision for ‘up to’ (a certain amount), which means it may even be zero. This will encourage corruption as quantum of money to be paid will be at the discretion of the authority,” Upadhyay said.

The urban development ministry has allowed relaxation even in Delhi, where rules specify that promoters need to provide details of only those court cases which have been disposed of during the last five years. This is despite the housing ministry clearly stating that builders need to provide details of all pending cases.

Till Saturday, 13 states and Union territories had notified their final rules. “With many states intentionally keeping most of the ongoing projects out of RERA’s coverage, there will be little relief for lakhs of home buyers,” Upadhyay said.

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