The West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Bill 2017 was passed by the state assembly, on August 16, 2017, although it missed the July 31 deadline by the centre, for adoption of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) 2016, in all states. The bill was moved by the state’s housing minister, Sovan Chatterjee. The CPI(M) demanded that the bill be referred to the select committee, which was turned down.
The bill aims to offer consumers protection from building and housing promoters. Once notified by the West Bengal government, all housing projects above 500 sq metres or eight apartments, need to be registered with the state regulator, the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority (HIRA). The bill proposes to bring the HIRA in place, over the next 60 days.
The bill says that for ongoing projects, for which the completion certificate has not been issued, the promoter shall make an application to HIRA within a period of three months, from the date of commencement of this Act.
Real estate players were demanding exclusion of ongoing projects from the new rules. A promoter will also be required to keep at least 70 per cent of the sale proceeds in an escrow account.
Chatterjee also asserted in the house that the government would take stern action for any filling up of wetland and ponds.