The effective implementation of the real estate law RERA will help in restoring the trust between the developers and property buyers, besides ensuring that there are no defaults in delivery of projects, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.
Addressing a webinar on the occasion to celebrate the completion of three years of RERA, Puri said the government has taken many steps to help the realty sector deal with the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told real estate regulators in states/ union territories to play a crucial role in reviving the sector.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was passed in the Parliament during 2016 and the law came into force from May 2017.
“One of the principal objectives of RERA was to help restore the trust between a buyer and the seller. And, this trust can only be restored by the true and effective implementation of RERA,” Puri said.
This would not only help ease the burden of inventory pile-up in the sector but also provide the necessary financial cushion to the developers to complete pending projects, he added.
Stating that the RERA law is an article of faith for the government, Puri said it is our collective duty to ensure that instances such as Amrapali, Jaypee and Unitech, do not recur again.
Highlighting the steps taken to boost the real estate sector during this pandemic, Puri informed that the Centre has issued advisories to regulatory authorities of all States to automatically extend the timeline of completing the projects by six months.
The minister said the government has extended the interest subsidy scheme CLSS for the middle-income group and announced the launch of a scheme to provide affordable rental homes to urban poor.
Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the extension of timeline for projects completion has been allowed to protect the interest of all stakeholders, including home buyers and financial institutions, and not only for the benefit of builders.
The video conference was attended by many state real estate regulators and industry bodies like Assocham, FICCI, Naredco and Credai, as well as homebuyers association.
Puri said the pandemic is deeply hurting the economic interests of all the sectors and real estate is no exception.
“Covid-19 has also had a debilitating effect on the real estate sector, which has become a cause for project delays,” he said.
Puri pointed out the construction activities had come to a standstill because of the lockdown. He said lakh of migrant workers left cities for their native villages and many more waiting to leave.
The government has put in place certain measures to allow for construction activities effective from April 20.
“The government has taken several steps in recent times so that the real estate sector survives the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister said.
Puri said his ministry has issued a necessary advisory to all States and their regulatory authorities for issuance of necessary orders to automatically extend the completion date for all real estate projects registered under RERA for a period of six months, where completion date expires on or after 25th March 2020.
The regulatory authorities may further extend this timeline for a period up to 3 months, for the whole of the State or part thereof, if needed.
“This will go a long way in addressing the anxiety amongst the home buyers and the developers, due to covid-19 and is a step towards regulatory easing,” Puri said.
On the proposed Affordable Rental Housing Complex (ARHC) scheme for migrant labour/urban poor, the minister said this step will to a great extent alleviate the problem of providing temporary housing to migrant people who are stranded in several urban areas.
The Credit Link Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) for the middle-income group has also been extended till March 2021. 2.5 lakh middle-class people are likely to get benefited through this move.
“These measures are aimed at giving a fillip to the housing sector,” Puri said.
Talking about the progress of the implementation of the RERA law, the minister said as many as 31 States/UTs have notified the rules under RERA, and the two pending northeastern states are under process to notify the same.
As many as 30 States / UTs have set up Real Estate Regulatory Authorities, of which 24 have set up full-time regulatory authorities, and 6 have interim authorities. As regards Appellate Tribunal, 24 States / UTs have set up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal, of which 16 have set-up regular Appellate Tribunals, and eight have set up interim tribunals.
The operationalisation of a web-portal for project information has been operationalised by 25 States / UTs.
“I would urge all those States / UTs which are yet to notify their Rules, or yet to establish their Regulatory Authorities / Appellate Tribunal and set up their websites, to do the same at the earliest,” Puri said.
As regards registrations under RERA, he said 51,971 projects and 40,517 real estate agents have been registered with the regulatory authorities across the country.