To protect people from being victim of any real estate fraud, Odisha government has decided to set up a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal and a Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Odisha’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singhdeo informed this to assembly yesterday. He said the State Cabinet has given its seal of approval to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, based on which such steps will be taken. He said the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal will be headed by a retired Judge or sitting Judge of High Court. Two experts will assist the tribunal to adjudicate the disputes.
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About formation of Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the Minister further informed that it will be headed by a senior administrative officer of the rank of Additional Secretary in Central Government. The chief of the regulatory authority will be selected by a three-member panel comprising of Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Law Department Secretaries.
Singhdeo said steps are being taken to protect customers from being victim of any real estate fraud. As per the act, the registration for sale and purchase of properties is mandatory and violation will attract jail term and fine. The accused will have to pay fine amounting to 10 per cent of the total purchase price of the property and undergo three years jail term, the minister maintained.
This apart, five per cent fine will also be taken from the broker of the property deal along with a jail term. He said the real estate developers cannot charge more than 10 per cent of the project cost from the customer before providing the sale agreement as per the new rules.
A separate bank account for each project will be opened in which 70 per cent of the total project cost will be deposited in it that could only be utilised for project cost. Singhdeo also said that each company has to submit their five-year performance report religiously to the regulatory authority.
“These rules have been framed for bringing in transparency and efficiency. There were complaints of people falling prey to cheats and getting harassed. These rules have been framed to put an end to fraud,” said Singhdeo.
However, Real Estate Developers Association (REDA) has expressed surprise and alleged that opinion of stakeholders associated with real estate business was not taken by the government before framing of the rules.
“It is surprise for us. They have framed the rules without intimating, without consulting or without taking the opinion of any of the stakeholders,” said REDA president Kantilal Patel.