Govt fails to initiate steps for implementation of Real Estate Regulation & Development Act

Even basic step of establishing Authority not taken so far
Promotion of sector in transparent manner remains distant dream

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 20: Though over two months have lapsed since its enactment by the Governor yet Government has failed to initiate steps for implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, which is aimed at promotion of this fast growing sector in a transparent and efficient manner.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that after detailed analysis of the fast growing real estate sector in the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir and in order to bring the same under the regulatory mechanism the Governor’s Administration some months back decided to enact a law and accordingly the task was assigned to the Housing and Urban Development Department.
Finally, a bill was placed before the State Administrative Council on December 14, 2018 and after its approval the Governor Satya Pal Malik enacted Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2018 in exercise of the powers vested under Proclamation No.P-1/18 dated June 20, 2018.
The objective behind the enactment of law was to promote this sector in transparent and efficient manner by establishing maiden Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the State Advisory Council and Real Estate Appellate Tribunal.
“The Act is aimed at ensuring sale of plots, apartments, buildings or sale of real estate projects in such a manner that the interests of the consumers are properly safeguarded and to establish an adjudicating mechanism for speedy redressal of disputes if any”, read the objects and reasons of the law.
Though over two months have lapsed since the enactment of the Act yet no step has been initiated by the Government for its implementation, sources said, adding “even the basic step of formally establishing Real Estate Regulatory Authority has not been initiated till date despite the fact that it is the Authority which has the mandate to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned under the Act”.
No doubt under the Act time-frame of one year has been given to the Government for establishment of the Authority but it has also been mentioned that until the establishment of Regulatory Authority the Government shall, by order, designate any Regulatory Authority or any officer preferable the Secretary of the department dealing with housing as the Regulatory Authority for the purposes of the Act.
“After the establishment of the Regulatory Authority, all applications, complaints or cases pending with the officer designated shall stand transferred to the Regulatory Authority so established and shall be heard from the stage such applications, complaints or cases are transferred”, read Section 20 of the Act.
However, even any officer of the Housing and Urban Development Department has not been designated as Regulatory Authority as such implementation of the Act has not begun till date, sources further said.
“Unless Regulatory Authority is formally established State Advisory Council and Real Estate Appellate Tribunal cannot be established”, sources said while disclosing that State Advisory Council shall advise on all matters concerning the implementation of the Act; on major questions of policy; on protection of consumer interests and to foster the growth and development of real estate sector.
Similarly, the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal shall hear the appeals filed under the provision of the Act.
As per the provisions of the Act, no real estate agent shall facilitate the sale or purchase or act on behalf of any person to facilitate the sale or purchase of any plot, apartment or building without obtaining registration from the Regulatory Authority.
Every real estate agent registered under the Act shall not facilitate the sale or purchase of any plot, apartment or building which is not registered with the Authority. Moreover, he shall have to maintain and preserve such books of accounts, records and documents as may be prescribed and shall not involve himself in any unfair trade practices.
Similarly, detailed functions and duties of the promoter of real estate projects have been defined under the Act.