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Developers can continue to advertise their existing projects


With 14 states and union territories already having notified RERA and the remaining 14 at an advanced stage, experts assert that developers can continue advertising their ongoing projects till the end of July 2017.

Post-demonetisation, the real estate industry witnessed a lot of speculation but now with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act put into force, effective May 1, 2017, its positive implications for buyers and developers have become quite evident. The Act was discussed in depth at a national level seminar for stakeholders, organised by FICCI recently.

Setting the tone right while decoding RERA, Udai Pratap Singh, interim regulator RERA and vice-chairman, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi stressed on how "RERA has been enforced to lend transparency, accountability, quality, timely delivery and efficiency to the real estate sector. The Act would also help in building the confidence of the con sumers and will provide a level playing field to them."

When questioned about how he would discharge his dual duties as the regulator of RERA and also as a developer at DDA, which is a land owning and housing agency, he said, "These are two different roles that need to be dealt with separately. I would set examples of good practices."

Talking further on the subject, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, urged the states to complete the process of notification and appointment of full-time regulators at the earliest for the Act to positively impact sales and profit in the current financial year. So far, 14 states and union territories have notified RERA and the remaining 14 states and union territories are at an advanced stage of notifying the Act. In the next three months, all legal infrastructure required to implement RERA would be in place, which will help developers register their existing projects with the regulator.

"RERA aims to protect the rights of the consumers and usher in transparency and accountability. The sector, which had immense potential to generate employment and scope for investment, had remained largely unregulated over the years. Now, the sector is expected to receive the required boost, contributing to the overall growth of the economy. States should resist from changing the fundamental rules of the Act.There would be state-specific issues, which will require diverse solutions that they should consider."

Mishra also added that the industry will have to learn and adapt to the new modes of business. With the enactment of the RERA Act, issues will arise and they would have to be dealt with proactively. Industry bodies should share the industry recommendations on RERA with the ministry, to ensure smooth transition.

When questioned about the immediate impact of the Act, he answered, "The real impact will be seen once the complete Act is in place. In the short-term, if the registrations are not done by July end, realty players will not be able to advertise and sell, although they can carry on with the construction as usual. As far as the long-term impact is concerned, the Act will change the way the industry works. It will become more professional. With RERA in place and the infrastructure status been accorded to the affordable housing sector, foreign investors are also looking at the Indian real estate market with huge investment options in mind."

The provisions of the Act were made clear by Anthony De Sa, chairman of MP Real Estate Regulatory Authority, who pointed out, "The provisions of the Act are very clear and there is no need to read them out of pretext. The developers can carry on their business as usual and continue to market and advertise their existing projects. But yes, they need to apply for registrations before July 31, as they will not be able to advertise or market their projects beyond July 31, if those are not registered."

According to the provisions of RERA, the existing projects should be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of the respective states or UTs by July 31. Also, developers do not need to get a registration number for these projects in order to advertise, market or continue the usual activities till July 31.

However, developers cannot launch new projects without first registering them with RERA, effective May 1, 2017. Officials with expert knowledge on the subject, clarified that the existing projects can continue to be advertised till July 31 even without a registration.

Only the new projects, launched after May 1, 2017, need to be registered before the beginning of their advertising marketing. There is no bar on registering of the existing projects; once the documents for the same have been applied for and the registration number can easily be sought. Also under the Act, individual projects need to be registered and not the group projects.

Vini Mahajan, additional chief secretary of Housing Urban Development, Punjab and the interim regulatory authority under RERA, also asserted the fact that the rules are crystal clear and there is no need to amplify the provisions. "The rules for the registration are clearly stated. For the existing projects, we will give the registration numbers based on the documents and declarations submitted. For new projects, the documents need to be in sync with the provisions of the new Act. We have also approached the developer community to ask the agencies to expedite the clearance process."

Reiterating the fact that there would be a smooth transition, which would benefit one and all, Dilbag Singh Sihag, member of RERA Committee, Haryana, and chief town planner Haryana (Retd.), Haryana, concluded, "The developers of the ongoing projects just need to apply for the registration of the projects under-construction by July 31. In almost all the cases, they would get a nod from the authority. The state currently, has a large portion of land under development by licensed colonisers and we don't want anyone to suffer. We are ready with the draft rules and have called for suggestions and objections on the same. We invite all stake holders to come up with suggestions that can make the law effective and help both, developers and home-buyers alike. We want people to have houses not confrontations."


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