Draft RERA rules to benefit builders?

According to Abhay Upadhyay, National Convenor of the activist group ‘Fight for RERA’, the draft rules released in June and the draft agreement for sales released recently are heavily biased in favour of builders of ongoing projects.

‘Fight for RERA’, mobilised key political support in favour of the Bill in March.

“The proviso to Section 3 of the Act talks about protecting interests of the existing home buyers. But as the rules are being framed, buyers are left in the lurch,” Upadhyay told media.

For example, draft rules do not distinguish between registration procedures for new and existing projects. As per RERA, the builders have to register the under-construction projects with the regulator. For new projects or projects in early stage of completion, it will help protect buyers’ interest against arbitrary change in plan and delayed delivery. But the buyers of the projects that are in advanced stage of commissioning will be helpless as the developers will get the arbitrarily changed plans and new delivery dates registered with the regulator.

Draft agreement

“Changes to original project plans or actual delay in delivery cannot be ascertained for such projects. It should also limit their chances to get legal redressal,” Upadhyay said. Upadhyay is equally caustic with the ‘draft agreement for sales rules’ that aims to lay down a uniform agreement between buyers and sellers. Right now such agreement and their clauses vary developer to developer. “The draft sale agreement does not address contentious issues on increase or decrease of carpet area, recalculation of price in such a changed scenario and so on,” he added.

Slow progress

The final implementation of the Act also seems to move at a tardy pace, especially at the State government levels. While the Centre will frame the guidelines for Union Territories, State governments are supposed to draft their own versions. Without a State level act, RERA is unlikely to achieve its ultimate objective of protecting the home-buyer (either for ongoing projects or new ones). If Upadhyay is to be believed, apart from Maharashtra – which has appointed a one-man committee to draft the guidelines – none of the States have made much progress on the same.

“Even the one man committee in Maharashtra is a farce as all stakeholders are not included. A panel should be there. So far progress on the Act has been slow and behind schedule,” he says.

Credits The Hindu Business Line

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