The Congress, on July 26, 2017, accused the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana of betraying small and medium home buyers and playing into the hands of builders, by diluting the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA). “The government has played into the hands of the builders’ lobby, by sacrificing the claims of ordinary home owners,” senior Congress leader, Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Describing the alleged dilution of RERA as a treachery with the people of the state, he alleged that the government had taken out 95 per cent of ongoing projects, from the purview of the RERA. “The net result is that lakhs of people, who have deposited their life’s earnings with the builders in the hope of owning a house, would be denied their rightful due,” the AICC media in charge said, in a statement.
See also: RERA in the NCR: A status update
The Khattar cabinet had, on July 25, 2017, approved the final Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Rules 2017, paving the way for the implementation of the much-awaited law in the state. Earlier, the draft rules were notified through a gazette notification on April 28, 2017, for inviting suggestions and objections from the public and others stakeholders.
Surjewala said that in spite of the objections raised by him, NGOs and a large number of project-affected people, the decision to ‘exclude all ongoing projects reflects an unholy nexus between the government and the builders’ lobby’. He also demanded an explanation for deleting the definitions of ‘carpet area’ and ‘flat’ in the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules 2017. Surjewala also said that the government needs to explain the reason for changing the definitions of the terms ‘external development works’ and ‘internal development works’, under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975.
He also criticised the decision of equating the ‘Occupancy Certificate’ with the ‘Completion Certificate’ in the Haryana RERA Rules. The ‘Occupancy Certificate’ is issued under the Punjab Scheduled Roads and Controlled Areas Restriction of Unregulated Development Rules, while the ‘Completion Certificate’ is issued under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975. To equate the two, is only to serve the interests of the builders lobby, at the cost of ordinary investors, he further added.
Surjewala also alleged that the government had surreptitiously excluded all the projects from RERA, whose applications under Rule 16 of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Area Rules, 1976 or under sub code 4.10 of the Haryana Building Code 2017, was made to the competent authority on or before the publication of these rules. “The government has not put any time limit for its officers to approve and reject the applications. This would mean that those applications would not be decided, until the buildings were actually built, citing one technical reason or the other,” he alleged.