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Maharashtra RERA ready, but realty developers in state yet to catch up

Only 3 developers have so far registered on Maharashtra government’s fully-functional RERA website.

Maharashtra trumped its peers by becoming the first state to have a fully-functional RERA website, along with having rules in place under Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA). The state also appointed a seasoned and well-respected civil servant Gautam Chaterjee as the interim housing regulator. Yet, only three developers have so far  registered on the website and three have applied for a registration.

Consider this – there are 2,286 number of ongoing projects in states top four cities — Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Nashik. Developers now have 75 days left to register ongoing projects, because they have to do so before July 31. The big question is – what were developers doing? They had a central act in place to guide them on what they needed to do, to get their businesses RERA-compliant.

It seems, the developers are wary to register just yet, and it stems from a warning given by the regulator that any misinformation would not be taken lightly.

“If there is any violation of the Act due to false statements or information provided by the developer, he will be liable to penalties prescribed in the Act. Developers will take some time to register as they have to provide a lot of information but I believe in another week’s time we should see rise in registrations,” said Gautam Chatterjee, Interim Chairman, MahaRERA.

Developers also claim they are encountering registration issues.

“When I tried to register my project, I got stuck at one stage where I had to provide the details of another bank account as my bank was unaware of these new rules,” says Rajesh Prajapati a Navi Mumbai-based developer.

“When you submit information on the RERA website it is as good as cast in stone. There is absolutely no room for mistakes. Hence, it is important that we tread carefully. 90 days is actually not enough for this,” said Boman Irani another prominent developer from Mumbai.

The regulator, however, feels otherwise. By end of July, the authority is expecting at least 20,000 projects to be registered on the MahaRERA website. And experts say, there is no reason why the deadline cannot be met, especially when the entire builder community knew RERA was coming, since May last year.

“The Act requires a lot of information to be provided by the developers so they are bound to take some time to consolidate all the information. However, 90 days target is achievable. It is important to note that this 90 days period is specified in RERA, hence it won’t be possible to give any extension without the amendment to the Act. The registration process for the real estate agents is much simpler and that is why we are seeing more real estate agents coming forward than developers,” says Neeraj Bansal, Head for Real Estate and Construction, KPMG.

KPMG has been appointed as the advisor for MahaRERA by the Maharashtra government.

Developers, who successfully registered their projects on the website, find the entire process quite streamlined.

“We have been preparing ourselves to be RERA-compliant for over a year now. We found the entire process simpler than filing an Income Tax return. I think we as an industry should change our attitude towards this act and see it as an opportunity rather than a challenge”, says Rajesh Pisal, Company Secretary, Mayfair Housing Limited. Mayfair was the first developer to register its project under MahaRERA.

Meanwhile, RERA will be applicable to the flat purchasers only after July 31 when all the ongoing projects get registered. “If one has to file an online complaint to RERA authority, he/she will have to quote the registration number. Till now only 3-4 developers have registered their projects. For the Act to be helpful to the consumers, we want that the developers should expedite this process,” says Godfrey Pimenta, a consumer activist.

 

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