Odisha News Insight

Rahul Gandhi woos Middle Class, opposes Real Estate Bill

Rahul GandhiNew Delhi, May 2 (IANS): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the NDA government of bringing a “pro-builder” real estate bill, saying it dilutes all good provisions of the bill brought by the Congress government.

The central government, however, refuted his claim, accusing the Congress party of being on the side of the land mafia.

Speaking after meeting a delegation of home buyers from Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Gandhi said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA alliance’s new bill lacked transparency.

“Our bill was trampled over. The government tried to kill it. It is working against farmers, tribals and also middle class,” Gandhi said.

Asked about the problems with the bill brought by the BJP-led government, he said: “The main dilution is that our bill had clear transparency. The carpet area that was agreed to will be given. It (UPA’s real estate bill) was pro-buyer, but now it (the amended bill) has become pro builder.”

Gandhi, who met over 100 representatives of home buyers for an hour at the Congress headquarters here, listened to their grievances about delayed possession of flats and fake promises made by builders.

“I learned something new today. I thought only farmers and tribal people are suffering due to land issues. But the same issue extends to the middle class as well, which is equally being exploited by removing transparency (clause from the real estate bill),” Gandhi told the media here.

“Home buyers are promised a certain super area…a specific time of completion of the project… beautiful view. But what they get (from the builder) in the end is totally different,” he added.

Gandhi assured the home buyers that the Congress stood by the middle class, just as “we stand by the farmers, tribals, and the labourers”.

The government, however, said the bill is against the land mafia and may not suit some builders.

“These are allegations. This bill is against land mafia and will stop exploitation of consumers. It may not suit some builders, particularly those who are close to Congress, so they are trying to stall the bill,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He added that the bill has already been through the Standing Committee and all stake holders have been consulted.

The Congress, meanwhile, defended Gandhi, saying the government has been rattled by him.

“Rahul Gandhi has rattled the government of Modi. BJP is worried and finding excuses,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 bill, aimed at establishing a regulatory authority for the real estate sector, was deferred by the Rajya Sabha earlier this week with opposition members insisting that it be sent to the Select Committee.

The Bill regulates transactions between buyers and promoters of residential real estate projects. It establishes state level regulatory authorities called Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs).

As per the bill, residential real estate projects, with some exceptions, need to be registered with RERAs. Promoters cannot book or offer these projects for sale without registering them. Real estate agents dealing in these projects also need to register with RERAs.

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