Rajya Sabha passes Real Estate Bill

Rajya Sabha passes Real Estate Bill

Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill near unanimously with almost all the parties welcoming the Government’s decision requiring developers to deposit 70% of the collections from the buyers in a separate account to meet construction costs including that of land.

Many members also welcomed the balance stuck in the Bill to enable orderly growth of the sector in an atmosphere of trust and enhanced credibility. They felt that the Bill is not anti-business and in fact, in the long run prove to be a much desired catalyst for the real estate sector benefitting both the consumers and project developers, an official release said.

Many members praised Mr. Anil Madhav Dave, Chairman of the Select Committee of the House that examined the Bill for enabling widest possible consultations in a very democratic manner resulting in useful suggestions which were accepted by the Government.

Responding to various issues raised by the members during the three hour long discussion on the Bill, Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M.Venkaiah Naidu said that the implication of bringing the real estate projects under construction under the ambit of the Bill will be examined and required clarity will be given in the Rules to be framed after enactment of the Bill. Mr. Rahman Khan (Congress) observed that the Bill provides for purchase of houses based on carpet area and its implication to projects under construction wherein houses have been allotted on super area basis needs to be clarified.

Responding to the issue of competence of Parliament to legislate on real estimate matters involving land raised by Mr. Naresh Agarwal of SP and Shri Rabi Bernard of AIADMK, Shri Naidu stated that this was examined thoroughly by the Ministry of Law & Justice and the Attorney General and Central Law in the matter was found to be valid.

On ensuring that there is no discrimination in sale of houses to certain sections of the society raised by Ms.Selja and Mr. Rajiv Gowda of Congress, the Minister said that the Constitution offered protection against any such discrimination and if required, this issue will be suitably addressed in the Rules to be framed.

On the demand for applying the provisions of the Bill to all real estate projects irrespective of plot size and number of apartments, Mr. Naidu replied that the Bill provides freedom to the States to relax the norm of plot size of 500 sq.metres or 8 apartments based on local situations.

Mr. Naidu who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs assured the House that Bills could be referred to appropriate Committees for examination if demands in this regard were not meant for delaying their consideration and passage and if the Parliament was allowed to function without disruptions which only delay legislation. He said so while responding to the suggestion of Mr. Jairam Ramesh who referred to the good work done by the Department Related Standing Committee and the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha by substantially improving upon the Real Estate Bill of 2013.

18 members spoke on the Bill. Reactions of some members of different parties on the Real Estate Bill, 2016 were as below:

Ms.Selja (Congress): Our party was strongly committed to protect the interests of consumers. I am happy that the Government decided in favour of 70% of collections to be deposited in a separate bank account. I don’t mind the Government taking credit for the same.

Mr. Anil Dave (BJP): The Select Committee could gauge the pain and suffering of consumers at the hands of some unscrupulous promoters. The Bill will prove to be a boon both for consumers and developers.

Mr. Naresh Agarwal (SP) : I am not against the Bill but only concerned about the Central Law entering the domain of the States. Imprisonment of developers for any violation straight away is being too harsh.

Mr. K.C.Tyagi (JDU): Chennai floods were a result of unregulated construction. Bengaluru also facing several problems.  Welcome the Bills that seeks to check irregularities.

Mr. NadimulHaq (Trinamul Congress) : Support the Bill though the remedial measures proposed for the real estate sector do not seem to be broad enough.

Mr. Rabi Bernard (AIADMK) : Only MP to oppose the Bill on account of legislative competency of Parliament.

Mr. Munkad Ali (BSP): Developers exploit the consumers by raising costs from time to time and this needs to be checked.

Mr. RitabrataBannerji (CPM); Support the Bill. It should apply to all projects and should ensure that there is no discrimination.

Mr. A.U.SinghDeo (BJD) : The Bill is long over due. Single window mechanism necessary to ensure speedy approvals for construction projects.

Mr. Praful Patel (NCP): Intention of the Bill is noble and honourable and marks a good beginning. Results will follow in due course. Land needs to be opened up to decongest core central areas of cities.

Mr. Rajiv Chandrasekhar: Bill is the most pro-consumer initiative of the Government. Both the UPA and NDA governments stood firmly on the Bill which is certainly not anti-business. It promotes competition and efficiency.

Mr. Anil Desai (Shiv Sena): Bill strikes a balance protecting the interests of consumers and genuine consumers.

Mr. Venkaiah Naidu thanked the members and parties for their enthusiastic support to the Bill.