Improvement in Indian Real Estate Market, Realtors Welcoming Real Estate Regulatory Authority

Improvement in Indian Real Estate Market, Realtors Welcoming Real Estate Regulatory Authority

In a bid to bring inmore transparency over cost and timeframes in the realty sector, the Maharashtra Housing Regulation and Development Bill was tabled in the Assembly recently. The state-level housing regulator is aimed at four things, namely promotion and development of housing, efficiency and transparency in real estate transactions, regulating real estate transactions and redressal of disputes. However, though the drafted Bill is a step in the right direction, it leaves enough room for improvement, according to realty experts.
It was a long overdue commitment from the government to get a regulatory bill in place. What we need is a bill that balances all the stakeholders,” says Sunil Mantri, Chairman, Mantri Realty Ltd. He further says that currently only the buyer and developer have been made accountable; what about the many government agencies?” Organisations like MHADA and MMRDA who take up housing as a business activity should also be brought under its ambit and made accountable under the new bill so that the system becomes more transparent,” says Mantri.
Supporting the move, Shailesh Sanghvi, Director of Sanghvi Group of Companies says, “It can be a success if an organised and systematic process is followed. To avoid delay in project delivery, there should be adequate and timely provision of raw materials like cement, steel, and sand required for construction. The approval process should be speedy and policies should support single-window clearances.”
For customers, who intend to buy a developed property, the proposed bill eliminates grey areas in the transaction; they will be provided all the necessary information to take an informed decision. “Consumers also have a means to seek retribution and defined legal process to support them in case of disputes,” says Manoj John, Vice-President – Corporate Planning & Strategy at RNA Corp.
However, Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman, Maharashtra Societies’ Welfare Association (MSWA) avers, “Regulation itself is missing in the regulatory bill because under the prescribed norms, the regulator has not been given any powers to take its own decisions. For example, there is no right given to the authority to reject the registration if not found proper. Also, why can’t we have the entire system routed through the government website so that the buyer knows that his flat is secure and there is transparency in the system”? The developer can get the plan sanctioned online and disclose all the details so that the buyer is able to make a booking through the government website. There are many agencies involved in the real estate sector like approval agencies, including the BMC, fire brigade, traffic etc, purchasing of land and materials, financial institution and requirement of raising the funds etc. No provision related to the same is incorporated.
“The purpose of the bill may be good but it suffers from the lack of valid content. We need to have a debate and discussion,” adds Prabhu.
Meanwhile, according to Mayur Shah, MD, Marathon Realty, the bill is nothing but a case of over-regulation. More regulation in the industry means bringing in one more hurdle in the development process. “Any market is volatile if there is a good ratio between demand and supply, however this is not fulfilled in the realty segment, because although there is more demand, supply is affected because of these regulations,” says Shah. Citing the example of the mobile and retail boom in the country, he adds that the realty sector needs to have something like liberalisation which did well to the consumers as they were presented with a range of choice. And the reason for not meeting with the said demand is because of over regulation, points the developer community. “It takes 18 months for getting an environment clearance. These delays cost in increase in production cost that affects the end consumer,” says Shah.
Going a step further, Lalit Kumar Jain, National President, CREDAI says, “The Maharashtra Housing Regulatory Bill, once it becomes an act, has the potential hazard of bringing in corrupt practices and ‘unnecessary’ interference in the real estate business”. CREDAI has been pointing out that most delays in executing various real estate projects in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, are due to delays in issuing various NOCs and CCs even after sanctioning projects.
As things stand today, developers have to go through very tedious, timeconsuming and indefinite approval procedures which sometimes result in manipulation of statutory processes. “The regulator should ensure clear, definite, accountable and transparent approval process for various types of real estate projects,” concludes Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country head, Jones Lang LaSalle India.
Source – TOI

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