Govt moves to regulate Real Estate Regulatory Authority In Thiruvananthapuram

Published on: 14 Aug, 2015
Published under: Politics News Kerala

A belated mechanism to regulate the State’s thriving real estate sector is getting final touches on the State government’s drawing board, as the Kerala Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. The ordinance promulgated by Governor P. Sathasivam is likely to be piloted in the next Assembly session in November.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali told The Hindu that the initiative is being taken up as the government was perturbed over the absence of strong laws in the real estate sector, including in other States. Maharashtra has its Housing (Regulation and Development) Act, but even that is not a comprehensive law, he added.

The proposed law will require the registration of all real estate projects and real estate agents. It will spell out roles for promoters and the rights and duties of the allottees.

More important is the proposed establishment of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), which will be vested with penal powers. There will also be the adjunct of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) to settle disputes. These will be located in Thiruvananthapuram.

Complaints pending before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum and the Consumer Redressal Commission can be transferred to RERA. The civil courts will not have jurisdiction over RERA or the Appellate Tribunal.

Already, the Central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill is pending before the Parliamentary Select Committee. But the Central Act will not be in conflict with the State legislation, government sources said.

While welcoming the proposed law, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) State chairman Haseeb Ahmed says that government stakeholders such as the Kerala Water Authority, the Kerala State Electricity Board, the Local Self-Government Institutions, Fire and Rescue Service Department, and even banks should be brought under its ambit.

It seems that the government wants to regulate the real estate promoters but does not want to apply the same rules on its own departments. Builders contribute 25 to 30 per cent of the project cost collected from the customers to the State exchequer. Yet there are the glitches. For instance, civic bodies sometimes delay sanctioning door number for apartments. The Fire Department has stopped issuing NOCs for the last three to four months, Mr. Ahmed says.

But officials maintain that the rules pertaining to the roles of government departments could be framed even after the passage of the Bill. Even otherwise, these departments would need to respond to the Right to Service Act anyhow, according them.

The initiative is being taken up as the government is perturbed over the absence of strong laws in the real estate sector.

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