Realty Regulator: Will States Meet the Deadline?

New Delhi: As we inch closer to April 30, 2017, the deadline for notifying real estate rules, only five states have managed to notify final rules so far. The latest update is from Rajasthan, where the authority has appointed the real estate regulatory authority. While the real estate regulatory act is expected to commence operation by May 2017, even states around national capital such as Haryana are far from notifying the rules.

Given the current delay, will states be able to meet the deadline? National convenor for Fight For RERA, Abhay Upadhyay thinks otherwise. "Looks difficult that states will be able to notify rules or appoint regulatory by the final deadline. There is already a template for notifying final rules from Housing Ministry, which has notified rules for union territories’, so taking so much time is beyond our understanding,” Upadhyay says.

Ministry of Housing and urban poverty Alleviation notified The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 on May 1st  for the six Union Territories.  So far only five States that have come out with final rules include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

However, allegations have poured in that most states have diluted the rules. Upadhyay adds, “It cannot be a coincidence that all states that are diluting rules can be in favor of one stakeholder i.e developer.”

Among others, states have decided to keep on going projects out of RERA’s purview. States such as Uttar Pradesh propose to cover ongoing projects, but with various exceptions, while Gujarat has proposed to only cover projects launched after November 1, 2016.

Taking the fight forward, Fight for RERA has launched the twitter campaign #DilutedRERAisNoRERA to reach out to Prime Minister to draw his attention to the issue. “Have started a campaign for RERA. On 7th November we wrote a letter to PM,” Upadhyay says. “After that Housing Ministry has taken steps and held a meeting of housing and urban secretaries. Despite this, states are not forthcoming,” he adds.

The government says it’s doing everything in its power to ensure states come out with a strong RERA. “We must pursue it with all vigor and see to it that it is implemented in letter and spirit. We have advised the states that they must have all the rules and regulator by May 2017. I have also told them that no deviation and dilution will be acceptable.,” Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Venkaiah Naidu said.

So barely two months left before all states are expected to implement real estate rules, one can only wait and watch if states choose to comply and whether the union government can fulfill its promise of a strong regulatory regime.

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