The quantum of penalty, Rs 50,000, charged for an ongoing project registered after the July 31 deadline with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has not gone down well with activists championing the statute.
The total number of registrations with MahaRERA has gone beyond 11,000 with over 1,000 of such registrations coming after the July 31 deadline.
Coming down heavily on the states that have not adhered to the deadline, the activists expressed concern over the "low" penalty of Rs 50,000 levied on the projects registered on August 1 and 2 — the first two days after the deadline.
Fight for RERA national convener Abhay Upadhyay has raised objections to the "low" penalty quantum, saying the regulator should have taken a stricter stand on late registrations.
Even as Maharashtra is the only state not to extend the July 31 deadline, the authorities have not yet cleared their stand on the registrations after August 3. While a committee is yet to decide on the penalty, Upadhyay said the quantum of Rs 50,000 was not accepted as MahaRERA had earlier penalized a real estate agent from Mumbai to the tune of Rs 1.2 lakh for an unlawful advertisement.
"The Act provides for a maximum of 10% of the project cost as the quantum of penalty for violation of section 3 of the statute. Penal provisions are meant to act as deterrents and should be applied in a proper way," Upadhyay told TOI.
Mumbai Grahak Panchayat President Shirish Deshpande said while the government has done "excellent work" on RERA in terms of not giving an extension, it should have issued fortnightly circulars to encourage maximum registration of the ongoing projects. "We had suggested that for the first half of August, they should look at a 5% charge and later make it 10% to encourage registrations," he added.
Maharashtra Credai President Shantilal Kataria, however, felt that the fee was high. "Delays in registrations happened because of genuine reasons. This is a new Act and one should give enough time for registrations. Our rules are stringent as compared to other states and so the government should have given a leeway for atleast some days," he said.
Developer Sanjay Deshpande said, "The government should take a strict stand on builders who are not registering the projects in spite of some relaxation. The purpose is to ensure that every ongoing project is registered."
while the fee levied on late registrations was less, it would be unfair to expect RERA to levy 10% of the project cost. "It should neither be too less nor too high. This will encourage more people to come ahead and register,"
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