As the central law Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA) came into force across India on Monday, Uttar Pradesh is one of the states which lags behind in setting up a regulatory authority.
That’s because with the change of government, the new regime of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to review the decision taken by the Akhilesh Yadav dispensation on the real estate law.
Admitting that the state had missed the bus in adhering to the May 1 deadline, officials said that while the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government had notified the constitution of a regulatory authority under the state rules, the new regime has stalled the proces. Uttar Pradesh had notified rules under the RERA in November last year.
The process will now be started afresh, Additional Chief Secretary (Housing and Urban Planning) Sada Kant said. He added that the past process stood cancelled. He also said the application process for the post of chairman and other members of the regulatory authority will be reinitiated soon and that the state may implement the RERA by June-end.
The chairman of the authority has to be a retired IAS official equivalent to the rank of Chief Secretary and it will have three members — retired IAS officials equivalent of Principal Secretary level.
Sources say that former Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan and over a dozen retired officials had applied for the post of chairman while over three dozen had applied for member’s posts.
Ranjan was close to former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, and it was assumed that his name will be shortlisted for the coveted post.
The Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, who chaired the three-member selection committee, is learnt to have objected to some names after which the process got slowed down. With state assembly elections, thereafter, the whole process was kept in abeyance. With the change in guard in the state, the process has since been spiked.
Along with tighetening of screws on private builders and real estate players, the new law will also put pressure on the Aawas Vikaas and the development authorities in the state which would now be forced to deliver flats on time promised at the time of purchase agreement.
While builders in the state say they welcome the Act as it would weed out the small and the fake builders, they feeL that with time the confidence amongst consumers would rise and the recession that had hit the real estate sector over the past two years would recede.
The process of setting up the regulatory authority is likely to be notified again this week, after which a shortlisting of the nominations would be made. The state is yet to set up a website on RERA to inform consumers about the developments.