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Rajya Sabha Passes Real Estate Bill

Friday, March 11, 2016
By A Business Reporter

A bill seeking to regulate the real estate sector, bring in transparency and help protect consumer interests was passed by the Rajya Sabha yesterday. Moving 'The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015' for consideration and passage, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it aims to protect the interests of buyers and bring more transparency in the sector.

"The Bill is need of the hour," Naidu said, responding to clarifications by members saying it can see further changes in the coming times. He said the bill would prohibit unaccounted money from being pumped into the sector and as now 70% of the money has to be deposited in bank accounts through cheques.

"There will be no discrmination of any kind on basis of religion, region, caste, creed or sex and gender and we will include that in the rules," Naidu said, responding to members' clarification, adding "there has to be single-window clearance for all approvals." The Bill also 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.

The Bill provides for registration of all real estate projects with Regulatory Authorities to be set up, requiring developers to disclose project information including details of the promoter, project, lay-out plan, land status, status of approvals, agreements along with details of real estate agents, contractors, architects, structural engineers.

The enactment of the Bill as a law will almost single-handedly revamp the way this sector works across the board, from developers to end-users and investors, to lending institutions and government agencies involved in the buying and selling of property. It is by far the most decisive step the sector has taken towards transparency and reaching towards the kind of standardized processes, procedures and accountability guidelines that the industry requires to progress.

 - Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India

This Act will give long pending protection to the interests of the end-consumers and give a substantial fillip to the confidence of various stakeholders including fund providers like banks and other financial institutions, PE funds and the like. The Act will help the sector transform into a more organised and transparent one. The information pertaining to the real estate sector will be available in a systematic manner leading to easy accessibility and transparency.

 - Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India

‘This was a much needed bill for revival of the consumer’s faith in the real estate industry which was lost over the past half a decade. It will also revive the faith of financial institutions in the developers as it will put a timeline on the project. The fact that only a RERA approved project can be promoted and sold by a developer in a given timeline only will make the buyer’s life easier’

 - Rohan Agarwal, Managing Director, Geopreneur Group

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