BHUBANESWAR: Real estate developers in Odisha expressed diverse opinions about the bill to regulate realty, likely to come up during the forthcoming Parliament session. While all sections agree there should be a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) as proposed, they differ on various clauses and liability provisions in the bill.
"There is no doubt that India should have a regulatory mechanism for realty sector as there is no specific law to regulate the sector at present, giving rise to several dubious developers. The new regulation will hopefully help curb unscrupulous builders and projects and will help growth of the sector in a more systematic manner," said Pradipta Kumar Biswasroy, president of Real Estate Developers Association of Odisha (Reda).
Anup Kumar Mhapatra,a Reda member, said the bill should also have enough provisions to ensure single window clearance for builders for various projects. "It should create an enabling environment for both builders and buyers and should not be construed as anti-developer," he said.
Mohapatra said the bill has provision of compulsory registration of properties while giving possession in the name of buyer. There should be stipulation about a situation when a buyer defaults in payment so that the developer is not at the receiving end.
Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India state unit, however, expressed reservations about liability provisions. "The bill proposes to make a developer criminally liable for minor shortcomings such as failure to execute housing projects on time and damage to property. Sometimes these could happen despite the builder's best intentions due to the situation being beyond his control. It would be unfair to send a developer to jail for such things. There should be monetary penalty provision instead," said Credai state chief D S Tripathy. Criminal liability should be fixed only when the authority finds intentional delay and cheating on the part of builders, he added.
Reda chief Biswasroy pointed out to ensure growth of the sector, it is important to gain buyers' confidence. As per a projection of Union ministry of urban development, Odisha needs around 4 lakh new housing units in the next few years. That would entail an investment of over Rs 60,000 crore. "Proper regulatory mechanism and transparency in the sector will accelerate growth," he said. The proposed regulation would boost the sector by bringing in more transparency and accountability. At present, because of existence of certain dubious players, the entire sector is facing an image crisis, Biswasroy added.