In a big relief to millions of ordinary home buyers, the parliament Tuesday approved a bill to bring transparency in the real estate sector to curb the harassment of home buyers. The bill mandates compulsory registration of real estate projects with state specific regulators.
It also has provision for three years imprisonment in case of violation of law. In absence of a sector regulator home buyers have faced endless delays, cost escalation and arbitrary charges.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, approved by Lok Sabha today, five days after its passage by Rajya Sabha, is designed to protect consumer interest, ensure efficiency in all property-related transactions, improve accountability of developers, boost transparency and attract more investments to the sector, the government said.
It provides for setting up of a Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) which will ensure timely execution of projects.
The RERAs will regulate transactions related to both residential and commercial projects and ensure their timely completion and handover.
The proposed law makes it mandatory for all residential and commercial projects to register with the Regulator and will apply to new and ongoing projects.
Appellate Tribunals will now be required to adjudicate cases in 60 days as against the earlier provision of 90 days and Regulatory Authorities will have to dispose of complaints in 60 days. In the earlier bill, no time frame was indicated.
The Bill provides for imprisonment of up to three years in case of promoters and up to one year in case of real estate agents and buyers for any violation of orders of Appellate Tribunals or monetary penalties or both.
Replying to debate on the bill, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Bill envisages that “What you are committing, what you are promising, please fulfill. What you are promising through advertisements, please fulfill that. That is the purpose of this Bill.”
Naidu also sought cooperation from the states for faster clearances to projects to make this Bill, which will override all state legislations, a success.
“We are trying to make the beautiful advertisements given by developers in front page of newspapers dutyful. Our ultimate intension is to ensure consumer satisfaction. Once the Bill is notified, you will get more investments in the real estate sector, early clearances and property prices will come down,” he said.
Government is also trying to bring in a National Urban Rental Housing Policy, he said, adding that the policy would take into account the requirements of tenancy hassles in modern days.
(With inputs from agencies).