News notes | Realty regulator for Delhi: way forward?

News notes | Realty regulator for Delhi: way forward?

Delhi homebuyers may soon get a helping hand. Delhi will have a real estate regulator by this year-end, said urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy, while talking to ‘PTI’, on Thursday. He said that the government was in talks with other states to put similar regulators in place.

If that happens, buyers in Delhi can expect a more transparent system of buying and selling property in terms of pricing, quality and other issues. With cases of cheating, fraud and harassment common in real estate transactions, there is a dire need for a regulator. Real estate being the only unregulated sector in the market, this has long been an issue of concern and debate. The reforms undertaken by the Securities and Exchange Board of India in regularizing the mutual funds market is an example on how regulators can make an industry customer-friendly and smoothen out processes.

The Indian government has been working to pass the real estate regulatory Bill. The Bill seeks to grant approvals to projects on certain parameters and also expedite the approval processes mandatory for projects to take off. It is expected to help improve transparency in the sector by rating developers on their financial strength—in terms of turnover, liquidity and profitability, scale of operations—and intellectual expertise, based on the qualification and experience of the management team, besides past performance.

The move would put India on the same platform as international markets, where real estate regulation is a reality.

“The state governments have sounded positive. But Delhi will get a regulatory authority for real estate by this year," said Reddy. He added that the regulator would prevent real estate firms from indulging in unnecessary profiteering.

Commenting on the proposal, Navin Raheja, managing director, Raheja Developers Ltd, said, “I welcome the change. This would put a check on unscrupulous developers who are involved in unauthorized constructions."

However, there are some who believe that a regulator will become another hurdle for the industry. “Bringing another layer of law in the form of a regulator will further delay the process of approvals and confuse buyers. If the objective is to protect consumer interests, then the ministry’s move is a welcome step."