Amid rising instances of builders not complying with orders passed by Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (Rera), the housing ministry has advised state governments to follow the “Gujarat model”, which has an effective recovery mechanism and appoints officers under the state laws for retrieving the dues. Gujarat Rera has appointed two officers vested with all the powers for execution of recovery warrant orders.
It has also notified detailed execution proceedings, which provides for arrest and detention. There have also been suo moto proceedings by the authority issued in some cases for attachment of the property which has ensured promoter paying the penalty with interest. The ministry has also advised states to designate additional district magistrates or additional collectors as “revenue recovery officers” for enforcement especially in districts where the pendency of such cases is high.
Recovery warrant orders are issued against errant developers for not completing a project. These warrants are forwarded by the regulators to collectors for attachment of properties and recover the dues. The issue of non-compliance of orders passed by regulators came up at a recent meeting chaired by Union housing secretary Manoj Joshi. As per the minutes of the meeting issued on Tuesday, the ministry has written to states along with the recovery model being implemented by the Gujarat Rera. It sought an update on action taken on the advisory as well.
FPCE, an umbrella homebuyers group, which had studied the recovery model of different RERAs and suggested the adoption of Gujarat model, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, welcomed the Centre’s move. “Homebuyers pan India are suffering as regulatory authorities are unable to get their orders enforced. Homebuyers are running pillar to post to get a refund even though they have orders in their favour for refund from authorities. Now since the ministry has written to states, we hope state regulators will adopt the recommendations to give relief to homebuyers,” said Abhay Upadhyay, president of FPCE.
As per the minutes of the meeting, Abrar Ahmed, principal adviser to UP RERA cited how they have recovered over Rs 800 crore in 4,000 recovery certificates from builders whose projects were launched from 2012 to 2014. He suggested that a provision may be made in Rera, similar to the provisions existing in the income tax law wherein if the recoveries are not possible from assets of the company or the project, the regulator can pass a special order holding the director accountable for the payment of the dues.