Addressing the realtors’ apex body CREDAI Conclave, Union Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, on March 6, 2017, expressed concern over the skyrocketing land prices in some cities and said it needs to be brought down to make it affordable for the people.
“The government is not asking you to do anything more than what you have promised to the people. What you have promised on the paper, you just complete that and we will stand by you,” Naidu said.
Naidu was responding to CREDAI chairman Irfan Razack’s demand that provisions of the new Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, should not be applicable with retrospective effect and should cover only new projects.
The demand comes in the background of realtors defaulting on providing housing units to consumers during the past few years, leading to a huge outcry and a number of litigations in various courts by the buyers.
“Issues that have been raised are being considered by the ministry. With regard to ongoing projects also, I wish I could transfer all my emails to Mr Irfan and let there be some committee to address those issues,” Naidu said. He added that the issue of prospective versus retrospective applicability of the real estate law could be considered only if the issues are addressed and builders take corrective actions. Naidu said the sector must deal with fly-by-night operators.
He said the real estate sector is raring to go ahead, on the back of various initiatives of the government, including infrastructure status to affordable housing and other tax sops. The minister asked the builders to adopt digital transactions for bringing in transparency into the sector. To transform the real estate sector, he said, the developers need to change their outlook and come out with new business principles and models.
The initiatives announced by the government would enable the much-desired ecosystem required by the sector to push aside the legacy issues. “It is a fact that this critical sector, over the years, has acquired a certain degree of taint for several reasons that we are all aware of. There is a serious crisis of character. The RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) seeks to restore the character of the sector. The Benami Transaction (Prevention) Act will further complement this,” Naidu said. Talking about ease of doing business, Naidu said the government is in the process of enabling faster approvals of real estate projects and a presentation on this by the ministries concerned, will be made before the prime minister soon.