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Real estate Bill delayed again

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The much-awaited regulatory Bill for the real estate sector is still a long way off. The draft will not be tabled during the current session of Parliament, a senior official in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has confirmed.

The Bill has been in the making for several years now, and was slated to be introduced during the Budget session. The housing ministry is now targeting the monsoon session of Parliament. The official said the final draft was ready.

The draft bill has gone through some changes related to clauses on imprisonment and compulsory registration.

The imprisonment, according to the final draft, applies only in the case of non-registration with the real estate regulation authority. Registration is mandatory for projects of a certain area and type. The maximum term of imprisonment is up to three years, and penalty may be extended up to 10 per cent of the project cost. In the earlier draft of the Billl, imprisonment was recommended in case of willful failure to comply with orders of Appellate Tribunal too.

The ministry has also reduced the area size for compulsory registration from 4,000 square feet in the earlier draft to 1,000 square feet now. This would mean registration would be mandatory for the smaller players too.

National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco) hailed this as a good move. “It would also check fly-by-night operators in real estate, which are majorly into smaller projects,” said R R Singh, Naredco director-general. “However, the load on the authority will increase, as it would get flooded with projects for registration as smaller projects are more in number.”

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), however, wants no limit on the registration. “No developer should be left out of the ambit of Real Estate Regulation Authority,” according to chairman Lalit Jain.

The objective of the proposed legislation is to establish an authority to regulate, control and promote planned and healthy development and construction, sale, transfer and management of colonies, residential buildings, apartments and other similar properties, besides to host and maintain a website containing all project details.

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