Maharashtra government proposes to put in place the housing regulatory authority by June as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Act 2012. The government will soon start formulation of necessary rules which will be ready by the same time. The government's move comes close on the heels of Presidential assent received last week for the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Act 2012. Maharashtra will be the first state to establish the regulatory authority for the housing sector.
Minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir told Business Standard ''The government is quite serious to set up the housing regulatory authority by June. The rules will be framed during the code of conduct for the ensuing elections. The Act aims to regulate and promote the construction, sale, management and transfer of flats on ownership basis. The Act will empower the flat owners and it will be a game changer in regulating the housing sector.''
The government official indicated that the housing regulatory authority will be headed by a retired bureaucrat. BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation's former commissioner Subodh Kumar is a front runner for the post.
According to the Act, registering the housing project and displaying it on the website of the Housing Regulatory Authority becomes mandatory for the promoter. The promoter will have to pay fees not exceeding Rs 50,000 along with the application for registration.
''Hopefully, the State-level housing regulator will implement systems which will mitigate risks and increase accountability. It can potentially boost transparency by standardizing practices, streamlining procedure systems and attending to consumer grievances in a decisive and timely manner. It will therefore help in bringing about a greater level of trust between buyers, sellers, developers and financial institutions that fund the real estate sector. It can also help curb speculative activity in the sector and contribute towards keeping prices in check,'' notes Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle India.
According to Puri, if the correct processes are followed as outlined, developers will benefit as much as buyers. While it is not certain whether the Act will provide single-window clearance of projects, it would be ideal if such a system were also introduced.?
Sunil Mantri, president, National Real Estate Development Council hopes that implementation of the Act will bring much more transparency into the sector. ''We want inclusion of various authorities such as civic bodies, Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority (MHADA), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the state distribution utility in the regulatory set up. This is necessary to avoid delays in the completion of projects for want of final clearances from these authorities. Further, keeping 10% flats under under escrow till occupation certificate is received is very high wherein huge funds of developers will get blocked when the sector is passing through a liquidity crunch,'' he says.
The state Act was passed by the Maharashtra legislature way back in 2012. Thereafter, the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had sent communications to the Centre on July 21, 2012, May 2, 2013 and November 18, 2013. On December 22 last year, Chavan had had sought the intervention of union minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Girija Vyas for recommending the state Act for Presidential assent.