Indian home buyers’ body Forum for People's Collective Efforts (FPCE) has requested the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, in a written communication, to repeal the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (WBHIRA) and put into action the Real Estate Regulation Act, 2016 (RERA) in its true spirit.
The association told the chief minster that the action of the West Bengal government has the potential to make ‘RERA’ redundant, and set a wrong precedent as several states would emulate West Bengal and enact their own laws. FPCE has said in its letter that the West Bengal Housing department had even convened a meeting of all stake holders on January 10, 2017, for the finalization of the Draft West Bengal Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2016.
Currently, the government is examining whether two separate Acts on the subject of regulation of the real estate sector - one enacted by the Centre and the other by a state - can coexist. RERA was fully notified in 2017 and states were given powers to notify their respective rules and appoint regulatory authorities. While this is applicable across the country except Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal is the only state that has not implemented RERA, a law which was passed after almost a decade of persistence by home buyers.
"We strongly hope that Mamata Banerjee would favourably consider the appeal of pan-India home buyers in general, and of West Bengal in particular, by implementing RERA in its true spirit -- the uniform law for real estate sector of our country,” said MS Shankar, secretary, Forum for People's Collective Efforts.
RERA was passed by the Parliament in March 2016 to address the woes of millions of home buyers and to bring about governance in a sector that was hitherto unregulated. RERA was passed with the intent of having a uniform law for the sector.
It was with this in mind that the Parliament repealed the Maharashtra Housing Act, 2012, vide section 92 of RERA. Subsequently, Kerala too repealed its state law on the subject and adopted RERA.
Most states have initiated the process of setting up the housing realty act, and authorities from Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat have already started passing the orders. Kerala and Telangana too have notified their state rules under RERA, but are yet to set up an authority.