The Congress today accused the BJP-led Haryana government 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 Manohar Lal Khattar government has played into the hands of builders lobby by sacrificing the claims of ordinary home owners at the altar of political expediency,” senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said. He said that the Congress will expose “duplicity and double dealing of the BJP” in providing protection and fixing accountability of builders. Describing the alleged dilution of RERA as a treachery with the people of the State, he said that the whole episode smacks of underhand dealing and favouritism. He alleged that the BJP government has “shamelessly” taken out 95 per cent of the ongoing projects out of purview of the RERA.
“The Congress brought RERA to ensure time-bound completion of projects, fixing accountability of builders and a systematic reform where ordinary home owner could stand upto the might of the rich builders lobby. The Khattar government in Haryana has demolished the very edifice with a single stroke. “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 Incharge said in a statement here. The Khattar cabinet had yesterday approved the final Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Rules 2017, paving the way for implementation of the much-awaited law in the state. Earlier, the draft rules were notified through a gazette notification on April 28 for inviting suggestions and objections from the public and others stakeholders.
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Reminding about concerns raised by him in the past, Surjewala said that inspite of the objections raised by him, NGOs and a large number of project-affected people, decision to “exclude all ongoing projects on one pretext or the other reflects an unholy nexus between the BJP government and mighty builders lobby”. “Can CM, Manohar Lal Khattar explain the reason for deleting the definitions of ‘carpet area’ and ‘Flat’ in the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Rules 2017?” he asked. Surjewala also said that the government needs to explain the reason for “changing the definitions” of terms ‘external development works’ and ‘internal development works’ under the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975. He said that the “double whammy” of the BJP government is in amending the definition of term ‘ongoing project’ to create “multiple loopholes for benefit of the rich and resourceful builders lobby”.
“The government decision of equating the ‘Occupation Certificate’ with the ‘Completion Certificate’ in the Haryana RERA Rules smacks of clear malice and complicity,” he added. He said the ‘Occupation 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 subserve the interests of the builders lobby at the cost of ordinary investor, he further added. Surjewala also alleged that the government has 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 publication of these rules.
“The BJP government has not put any time limit for its officers to approve and reject the application. 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 that this has been done to provide benefit to the builders.