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Indian Real Estate News : Panchkula
When city governments delay projects, consumers pay the price
Source: The Times of India Dec 22, 2013
To make real estate affordable to consumers and the Real Estate Regulation & Development Bill 2013 more effective, Geetamber Anand, president elect of CREDAI (Confederation of Real estate Associations of India) asked the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Real Estate Committee to champion a nine-point agenda. This includes:

1. Bringing all stakeholders under the purview of Bill so that they are regulated and made answerable to the Regulatory Authority.

2. Clause on 70% funds to be deposited in scheduled bank to be deleted.

3. Estimated cost of project to be defined as the cost of construction incurred by the promoter for undertaking the project and should not include cost of land.

4. Instead of revocation or cancellation of registration in case of deviation, it should be substituted with levy of penalty by the Regulatory Authority.

5. Chairperson of the Regulatory Authority shall be a sitting judge of the High Court.

6. Gradation of penalties and punishment in Section 51 to 58, -removing imprisonment provision and penalty ranging from Rs. 5000 to Rs. One crore.

7. Instead of 10%, of advance received from allottee, making it 20% is suggested- as in the case of Maharashtra Bill.

8. Need for Constitution of State Advisory Council.

9. Competent Authority to include Central Government Departments and regulatory authorities.

Magicbricks is starting a new series on understanding the impact of policies or the lack of it on the housing sector and consumers in particular.

This plea by Getambar Anand of CREDAIis being used as a starting point to decode what ails the residential property markets. Today we begin with the approvals system.

So what does this delay in the approvals process mean to the consumer? Currently state governments and city governments are left out of the regulatory process. This means that after a developer purchases a project and applies for the 40-100 approvals that are required to be secured before a project can be sold, there is no time period in which the authorities have to approve of the proposals. As a result, across India, the process of development is largely dependent on the whims and fancies of the government authorities. In cities and states where this does not happen, development is much more efficient. Gujarat and Hyderabad have provisions of applying for the approvals with an architect’s signature on the form and if the authorities do not respond to the application in the given time frame, it is deemed ok and the project can begin. If this does not happen, consumers are going to keep paying for inefficiencies of the state.

Take the case of Chennai, where in a certain year hardly any projects were rolled out because they were awaiting approvals by the authorities. Similarly, while the Haryana government has declared an affordable housing policy and also earmarked sectors of Sohna or Greater Gurgaon to it, it is believed that approximately 61 approvals are awaiting government sanction currently. Since general elections are around the corner, the government authorities are expected to clear these soon. Does a city government has the moral right to hold consumers to ransom in this manner and also make them pay for the added costs?

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