Coming down heavily on the states that have diluted the real estate regulatory Act, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said states have no power to dilute the provisions and this will have serious implications including public outcry.The minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) also urged the states and Union Territories to rise to the occasion and implement the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 from May 1 this year.
“There are some media reports that some states have diluted some provisions of the Act in the rules notified by them (HUPA). States don’t have such powers and I hope such reports are not true,” Naidu said while addressing a meeting of chief secretaries and senior officials of states and union territories here.
“Today, I want to make it clear that any compromise with the spirit of the Act will have serious implications including public outcry. Whoever does so will have to face the public outcry,” he added.
On the ambiguity about ongoing projects, Nandita Chatterjee, secretary, ministry of HUPA, clarified that all the ongoing projects that have not received completion certificates till May 1, 2017 would come under the purview of the real estate Act.
Abhay Upadhyay, convener of home buyers’ group Fight for RERA, feels it was necessary to clarify to states that they cannot dilute Real Estate Rules in favour of builders. “We now hope, states will now frame stringent RERA rules and all dilutions in favour of builders done by many states will be revoked,” he said.
The ministry of HUPA made it clear that no amendments to the Act would be considered at this stage. On states’ demanded to relax the minimum plot size of 500 square meter proposed in the Act for registration of projects with regulatory authorities, Chatterjee clarified that the minimum plot size of 500 sqm was arrived at after several rounds of discussions by the Parliamentary Committees and in the Parliament and it can’t be altered now.
States also raised the issue of excluding balconies from the definition of carpet area, to which the ministry explained that it posed no problems as costing could be accordingly informed to the buyers.The ministry also urged the states to form interim regulatory authorities, as proposed in the Act, to put in place necessary institutional mechanisms so that full fledged regulatory authorities could become functional from May 1 this year.
So far, states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nager Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep have notified the real estate rules.
However, states such as Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry said they would notify the real estate rules in February.
Punjab and Uttarakhand, however, said they would notify the rules after the state assembly elections.