Single window clearance blocking Real Estate Regulation Bill
By: Ravi Sinha
The Union Cabinet is expected to consider the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill within a fortnight. However, while the Government intends to present the Bill during the monsoon session of Parliament, scheduled to start from August 8, single window clearance to the projects is the only stumbling block in its way.
A senior Ministry official told Track2Realty that the draft Cabinet note will now be sent to the Cabinet Secretariat, but it is not clear whether all the states would agree to the single window clearance since Centre does not want confrontation with states on State subject. The draft has been prepared after obtaining feedback from the States, but still there is no clarity on the contentious issue.
The Bill will focus only on property transactions as they falls into the concurrent list. Since the core of the real estate business is land and land is a State subject, a lot of time was spent on getting the response from the States, the official added.
Unlike Chhattisgarh, the West Bengal Government has not directly opposed the Bill, but it wants State legislation to exist. Uttar Pradesh has some reservations, while the Maharashtra Government has prepared its own legislation. “We have tried to accommodate States’ views,” the official added.
The draft Bill provides punishment for selling a project without registration with the Proposed Real Estate Regulator. The punishment may include imprisonment up to three years or a penalty up to 10 per cent of the estimated cost or both. There is no plan to expand the scope of imprisonment.
The revised draft is believed to have brought down the size of the land proposed to be developed to 1,000 square meters from the earlier provision of 4,000 square meters for coverage under the provisions of the Bill. Once enacted, States will have the freedom to change this limit.
He also clarified that the along with the proposed Bill, various State laws related with real estate will co-exist.
However, if there is too much inconsistency in the State legislations, they will have to amend their laws. There is no plan to include any provision of giving direction to the States under the Bill.
The Bill aims to establish a Regulatory Authority for regulation and planned development in the real estate sector and to ensure sale of immovable properties in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector.