Amid cases of home buyers being cheated by builders, activist-lawyer and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday urged the government to take steps to make the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2013 an Act.
Addressing a news conference in association with Home Buyers Association, Bhushan said the RERD Bill has been pending for over two years now and was very essential for safeguarding the interests of home buyers.
He said the UPA government had approved the bill in June 2013, following which it was introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 14, 2013 and referred to Standing Committee on Urban Development in September that year.
After the change of guard at the Centre, the new Cabinet discussed the findings of the Standing Committee in December 2014, but did not take any decision on the matter.
“The amendements were approved by the Cabinet in April this year. But we learnt that on May 6, the changes suggested by the Cabinet were again referred by Rajya Sabha to another Select Committee.
“We feel the government has not taken any decision and it may be (due to) pressure of the real estate lobby as their interest will be threatened if such an Act comes into force,” Bhushan said.
Maintaining that the bill may not be a foolproof protection against erring builders who dupe consumers, he said it is certainly a “good start”.
“If the Act is enacted, then there will be a real estate regulator, independent of government, who can grant licence to real estate developers. Plus, it will be mandatory for the builder to deposit 50 per cent of the amount paid by the consumer before the regulator and which act as a security amount if he fails to fulfill his committment,” Bhushan said.