NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has been attacking the Centre over land bill issue and the plight of farmers, has fired fresh salvo at Narendra Modi government over the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill.
After meeting several NCR flat buyers on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi said that he had learnt that it is not just farmers and tribals but also the middle class people that are "suppressed" on matters related to land.
Assuring homebuyers that he would stand by them, Rahul Gandhi said that it was due to lack of transparency that the buyers were left in a quandary.
"They are told that you will get the flat on a particular day but for years they don't get the flat. They are told the super duper area of the flat would be so much but what is delivered is different," he said.
He said that someone was promised that the flat will have a good view, but a few months after the flat was delivered, another building came up and the view was blocked.
He said the government was trying to destroy the Bill which Congress led UPA had brought to regulate the real estate sector.
"Main dilution is that there was clear transparency. The carpet area that you sign is what would be given. They have diluted and from pro-buyer, made it pro-builder," he said.
Attacking the government, he said, "What it is doing against farmers and tribals, it is also doing against the middle class".
"I have assured them that the way I stand with farmers and tribals I stand with them also," he told reporters.
The meeting, which took place at the Congress headquarters, comes amid Congress criticism of the real estate bill brought by the Modi government.
Congress has accused the Centre of diluting the provisions of UPA draft to favour builders at the cost of homebuyers.
The new bill mandates that builders deposit only 50% of the money collected from buyers in a separate account as against 70% provided for in UPA's draft. Congress said the idea was to ensure that money for a project was not diverted by builders to another project, thus reducing delays.
UPA's legislation, piloted by then housing minister Ajay Maken, also provided for 'carpet area' to ensure clarity about the net usable area offered to buyers and protect them from being misguided by technical terms such as 'super area'.
Congress said the new bill talks about "rentable area" which helps the builders to confuse the buyers about the actual area being offered.
The bill has also deleted the provision which had made it mandatory for the promoter to disclose the number of buyers and apartments booked in a project every quarter while bulk purchases were barred. Congress said this will go against the interest of homebuyers as the provision was aimed at stopping the builders from the practice of bulk purchases through sister companies to create artificial scarcity and benefit from black money transactions.