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India’s real estate law makes for slow going

Dubai: Fast-track regulatory change just doesn’t get to happen in India ... the proposed Real Estate Regulatory Bill is a case in point.

“It is definitely not encouraging that such an important policy initiative is still not finalised, but there is every indication that it will be sooner rather than later,” said Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO — Residential Services at JLL India. “The bill is waiting in the wings for final deployment post a unilateral sign-off from all industry stakeholders.”

But others are not so sure that the far-reaching changes that Indian realty needs — such as a Real Estate Regulatory Agency — will happen any time soon ... “Since the issue is very complicated, this is likely to take some time,” said Colonel A. Sridharan, Managing Director, Covai Property Centre.

“Instead of calling it a “game changer”, I would expect the [real estate] bill to bring in a level playing field, remove the bad players and bring in more transparency and accountability, which is very much needed in India. Yes, there will be some discipline and that is good for the sector.

“However, it is unlikely to bring down prices.”

The bill was originally moved by the earlier government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and was applicable exclusively for residential real estate. The bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha (India’s upper house of parliament).

The Modi cabinet in April this year had approved amendments to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013.

“The bill protects the interests of millions of consumers in the sector,” said Sakshi Katiyal, Chairperson of Home & Soul. “The bill could not come at a better time. There is a complete trust deficit today among home buyers and the industry is already paying a hefty price, with falling sales.

“With more and more buyers checking their interests and profits in the long run, we have more smart buyers today compared to earlier. With such customer-centric approach being brought in, it is definitely going to encourage more buyers of the safety of their investments.”

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