Proposed Real Estate Bill Gets Confidence to Consumers
The central government's draft real estate (regulation & development) bill, 2011 has special significance for Pune as the city has added 63,49,667 sq m in floor area of construction in 2010 and continues to grow rapidly. However, it is fraught with complaints and disputes between property developers and buyers.
The bill hopes to establish a regulatory oversight mechanism to enforce disclosure, fair practice and accountability norms in the real estate sector and to provide adjudication machinery for speedy dispute redressal.
However, the new regulatory mechanism has caused an uproar in CREDAI, a group of leading promoters and builders in Pune. The association feels that more regulations will have an impact on the realty sector and the government should bring transparency in its own functioning along with the civic bodies while dealing with it. However, consumer forum Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat has said such a mechanism is necessary.
"Another regulation will not achieve much. In a free market economy such once-sided acts will have a negative impact. It will also have serious consequences on the growing realty sector. Transparency is needed, but it should also apply to the government and civic bodies," CREDAI (Pune) president Satish Magar said.
The bill primarily aims at restoring confidence of the general public in the real estate sector, by instituting transparency and accountability in real estate and housing transactions. Currently, the sector is largely unregulated with consumers often unable to procure complete information, or enforce accountability in builders and developers in the absence of effective regulation, the union housing and urban poverty alleviation in a press statement said.
"The proposed bill is the result of haphazard construction elsewhere which has no proper regulation act. In Maharashtra, regulations including the Maharashtra Apartments Ownership Act, exist. If the government wants more regulations, it should strengthen existing acts instead of enacting a new one," Magar said.
How will Pune benefit
The Pune Municipal Corporation can fall back on the law to take action against developers and builders for incomplete works, not seeking no-objection certificates and failing to provide basic amenities and occupancy certificates to property holders "Pune's construction spree needs strong regulation. The civic body which issues building permissions is toothless to deal with rising complaints against builders. It cannot even resolve the issues of completion certificate and take action against builders," said a PMC official. A majority of the 6,60,000 identified/assessed properties in the city have not obtained occupancy (completion) certificates.
The Environment Status Report for 2010-11 states that construction in all parts of the city is rising. Last year, the city added 63,49,667 sq m (floor area) construction of which 53,51,845 sq m was residential construction, while 9,97,822 sq m was for commercial purpose.
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