New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi will meet home-buyers from Delhi and NCR region on Saturday to listen to their grievances, including complaints of delayed delivery of flats and allegations of cheating by private builders.
The meeting, likely to take place at the Congress headquarters, comes amid Congress criticism of the real estate bill brought by Modi government. Congress has accused the Centre of diluting the provisions of UPA draft to favour builders at the cost of home-buyers.
The meeting is expected to train Rahul’s focus on the urban middle class after his championing the cause of farmers by using the land acquisition bill. The Congress vice president is expected to use Saturday’s meeting with home-buyers to bring out the Congress’ anger at the Centre over the real estate bill. “It is a serious issue and Rahul has been petitioned by homebuyers’ associations that have been holding dharnas against the builders,” said a party functionary.
All this comes at a time when the number of cases between builders and consumers is said to be ove a lakh.
The new bill mandates that builders deposit only 50% of the money collected from buyers in a separate account as against 70% provided for in UPA’s draft. Congress said the idea was to ensure that money for a project was not diverted by builders to another project, thus reducing delays.
UPA’s legislation, piloted by then housing minister Ajay Maken, also provided for ‘carpet area’ to ensure clarity about the net usable area offered to buyers and protect them from being misguided by technical terms such as ‘super area’.
Congress said the new bill talks about “rentable area” which helps the builders to confuse the buyers about the actual area being offered.
The bill has also deleted the provision which had made it mandatory for the promoter to disclose the number of buyers and apartments booked in a project every quarter while bulk purchases were barred. Congress said this will go against the interest of home-buyers as the provision was aimed at stopping the builders from the practice of bulk purchases through sister companies to create artificial scarcity and benefit from black money transactions.
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