The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Rajasthan has issued advisory against the four developers, who were found to be violating the rules. Two of the developers were issued show cause notices for advertising their projects without getting registered under the RERA (Rajasthan), while a fine was imposed on the other two developers for not depositing required documents. As the developers in Rajasthan are allegedly missing the deadlines and not keeping up to their promises, this action by RERA on the technical grounds might be a good beginning to rein them in.
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) is taking action against the developers, who failed to submit the documents for registration of their ongoing construction projects under the RERA Act. According to the RERA official, the authority is planning to issue notices and provide final seven days’ time to these defaulters. There are nearly 200 ongoing projects, where the respective builders have not deposited complete documents. Now these builders will have to deposit the remaining documents along with penalty. If the required documents are not provided, then the project will be cancelled and termed as ‘illegal’.
Builders of two housing projects, Galaxy Manglam Grand City and Ginni Homes, were imposed with penalty of four times project fee for failing in submitting the required documents, even after registering the project online with RERA. It was later informed that these two developers have violated section 3 of RERA Act 2016. A 15 days’ time period has been provided by the authority. In case, the builders fail to stick to the given deadline, RERA will order a cancellation of the project registration and take appropriate action in accordance to the rules.
Similarly, two other notices were issued under Section 35(1) under the RERA Act 2016 to Manglam builders and Shubham Group for advertisement of their projects without prior registration. On January 9, the notice was issued by RERA, exercising its powers taken by the u/s 35(1) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 for contravention of section 3 and 11 of the Act. In which any kind of violation committed by the builder by advertising in market, or offering for sale or inviting persons to purchase in any manner, any apartment or building in the real estate project prior to registration of the sale, will be prohibited.
The authority has instructed these developers to stop such illegal action immediately and explain in writing within seven days. A penalty would be imposed if the developers are found guilty. If no explanation is provided within the given time, the authority may pass necessary decision in accordance with the law. Shubham Group was allegedly found guilty for publishing advertisement in newspaper inviting booking for Shyam Vatika, a residential township, which is coming up on Diggi Road. Similarly, Manglam Build Developers Ltd allegedly published advertisement of invites for booking in Manglam Aroma project in Patrakar Colony. The buyers are encouraged to register their complaints with the regulatory authority. In case of a fraud, the consumers can go forward after checking the registered project profile on the RERA online portal. Even if they have booked a flat in a residential complex, they can inform the authorities about their developers not registering on portal.
The builders also believe that this ‘Act’ will bring a transparency in the system, which would definitely benefit the customers. As most of the genuine developers have already registered their ongoing projects with RERA. This new system has eradicated non-serious developers from the market, hence protecting the interest of the home buyers.
Affordable Housing: Government To Ease Green Norms To Provide A Boost
The central government has proposed to ease green norms for the construction sector, in order to make ‘housing for all by 2022’ a reality. In this proposition the projects up to 50,000 sq. metres will need no prior ‘environmental clearance’.
Increasing the threshold of built up area for getting the relief from 20,000 sq. metres to 50,000 sq. metres, the environment ministry has released a respective draft notification. After the latest updates, the construction project however still have to meet “environmental conditions” by providing certification and self-declaration, as they continue to seek construction/building permission from the local authorities.
Various suggestions and views of all stakeholders has been sought by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), within the 60 days of the draft notification after it will be finalised.
But the proposal is once again expected to face legal battle from the environment ministry as it will dilute environmental laws in favour of ease of business. This new step by the government has raised several issues as the according to the environmentalists, this would become a free pass for the builders to misuse the norms for constructing the multiplexes and shopping malls. Whereas the ministry has stated that the proposed move will organize the permissions for building and construction sector to complete its objective to provide “affordable housing” to the weaker sections in urban areas.
According to Ritwick Dutta, environment lawyer, the draft notification is out of context as it will only benefit the developers and also cause severe damage to the environment in cities. The lawyer claims that the ministry has brought this draft in violation of the recent order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
A previous quashing of such notification by NGT’s order is taken as a referral by Dutta. He said that in December 2016, the ministry issued one such notification, in which the size of 5,000 sq. metres to less than 20,000 sq. metres will not need prior environmental clearance. When challenged in the NGT, the notification subsequently got quashed.
“A ploy to circumvent the provisions of environmental assessment”, called NGT in its January 2018 judgment for the December 2016 notification of MoEFCC. According to the tribunal, under the country’s environmental laws, this step by the ministry would “considerably dilute the environmental safeguards”, hence asking the ministry to re-examine the notification.
Following the matter, the ministry saw NGT’s order in the Supreme Court. And now the ministry has come out with a fresh proposal, in which the project threshold will see an increment from 20,000 sq. meters to 50,000 sq. meters, even as the matter falls pending before the Supreme Court.
The “Housing for All” programme by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims to provide 12 million affordable housing units in urban areas by 2022. Last month saw the approval of the creation of Rs. 60,000 crore National Urban Housing Fund by the Union cabinet, to finance this programme. According to the data provided by the government, 0.5 million houses have been completed out of the proposed 12 million houses and the remaining houses have already been launched.
SDMC Implements Colour-Coded Zonal Map To Check NOCS For Building Plans Permits
A colour-coded map is being used by the three municipal corporations in Delhi to pave the way for the surety about the requirement of no-objection certificates (NOCs) for a particular property. Within the ease of doing business in order to get the building plans applications processed online, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has developed the map in collaboration with the Geo-Spatial Delhi Limited (GSDL).
In the last two years, 3,838 building plans have been sanctioned by the SDMC under the ease of doing businesses. Introduced in 2016, this online facility allowed the residents of all the three municipal corporations to apply for construction permits without visiting offices.
Sharing some of the milestones of the project, P K Goel, SDMC Municipal Commissioner said that the plans were now sanctioned through a “single-window system only”. According to him, the development of a single super-imposed colour-coded zonal map is a major reform as now the confirmation of the requirement of nature and extent of NOC for a particular property can be provided in a fraction of a minute.
The new map is fast and efficient in providing reliable information on the requirement for an NOC as by just a click on a particular location on the map can confirm the requirement of the NOC with the help of longitude and latitude. Proving to be very beneficial for the architects and the people interested in constructing a building.
Out of 3,838 plans sanctioned, 991 have been sanctioned in a day, 1588 in seven days and 931 in fifteen days. 132 occupancy-cum certificates have been delivered online by all the three municipal corporations since the online system got implemented.
Many external departments have also been integrated with online common application form (CAF) module such as National Monuments Authority (NMA), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), DMRC, Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC), Chief Inspector of Factory, Heritage Conservation Committee, Delhi Fire Service, and the Airports Authority of India.
By the implementation of this step, the time required for issuance of construction permits is a maximum of 30 days, 15 days are required for processing and sanctioning at the end of municipal corporations and the other 15 days are required for all the NOCs of external agencies.
According to the officials, in any case department fails to decide the case within the designated time, the case will be deemed as sanctioned by the system. Various NOCs required earlier from the external agencies during the sanction of a plan, have now been dispensed with and are no more required for the release of a permit, in order to benefit the consumer.
Venkaiah Naidu Urges To Correct Land Prices For Low-Cost Homes
M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President on Thursday mentioned that there is an urgent requirement for correction in the prices of land in order to making home buying affordable for the common man.
He said, “The cost of real estate goes up not because of the cost of construction but because of land prices. There is a need for correction of prices. Prices of land in Indian cities are even sometimes equivalent to prices of Washington and New York. Cost of units is going up not because of the cost of construction but mainly because of the cost of land, land being held by the middlemen. There is a need for correction. Reality has to come in the real estate sector,” while speaking at CREDAI’s real estate conclave 2018 titled Real Estate 2.0, Embracing Change.
He urged the realtors’ apex body, CREDAI to not let any back sheep affect the masses and execute a self-code of conduct to keep all the violators and defaulters at bay. Further adding, he said, “The law alone will not help in dealing with this disease as there are legal ways to fight cases for years together.” The best way is to come up with a voluntary code of conduct and whoever violates the norms, such defaulters should be deterred from any similar activities to happen in the future.
Only taking such actions would improve the credibility and acceptability of CREDAI. Naidu said, “This is the need of the hour for the real estate sector.” He also pointed out that most of them believe that the affordable housing segment will be the force to influence the real estate sector in the coming months owing to the supportive measures taken by the government.
Jaxay Shah, CREDAI’s President said that since 2017, when the members of the realtors’ body were announced, they have been able to develop over 375 affordable housing projects across the country. Around 10 lakh affordable housing units have already been undertaken by Maharashtra and Rajasthan CREDAI members and will be closely monitored by KPMG every three months.
On the first day of the conclave, the realtors’ body has demanded a reduction in the GST and easier bank financing for land purchase to develop affordable housing. Also single-window clearance for real estate project approvals with an aim to boost the sector.
The real estate sector which faced a twist of events in the form of GST, demonetization and the new reality law is undergoing a ‘critical moment’, said Shah. He went on to urge the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to take these matters up with the government on its behalf.
Proper financing by the banks should be in place to purchase land for affordable housing projects and the area norms should be removed for the middle-income groups in order to accelerate the purchasing power of the people under government’s credit-linked subsidy scheme.
In lines with affordable housing, the GST should also be 8% for the entire sector to create demand for under-construction flats. As the current effective GST rate is 12% after an abatement and no GST on completed flats.
Getamber Anand, CREDAI Chairman, said there should be proper land abatement as the prices of land differ from city to city. Taking this argument further Pankaj Bajaj, CREDAI NCR President suggested that the government can give abatement prices on the basis of circle rate depending on each city.
Other issues raised by the association was the delay in approval of projects, especially with respect to environment clearances. It also said India’s ranking when it comes to ease of doing business will improve further if the government decides to have a single-window clearance.
CREDAI has over 12,000 members in 23 states and 178 city chapters.
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