Among the state authorities, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh have extended the project completion deadlines by 3 months, while Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have extended the same by 6 months.
MUMBAI: Homebuyers’ pan-India body the Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE) has opposed the Central Advisory Council’s (CAC) decision to provide Suo-motu extension of 6 months to all active RERA-registered projects for completion due to Covid19 lockdown.
The CAC, in a video conference held on April 29, also decided to allow further extension to special cases based on the merits by the respective state RERA authorities. FPCE had opposed this move on the same day and has now been supported by Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Among the state authorities, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have extended the project completion deadlines by 3 months, while Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have extended the same by 6 months. However, following the CAC meeting, the ministry is yet to send any directives to states.
Both FPCE and Chandrasekhar have written to Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of housing and urban affairs that Covid19 impact need not be considered as force majeure as the government has already relaxed lockdown conditions for construction segment.
However, if the government considers Covid19 as a natural calamity under force majeure, then the extension of project completion time should be actual lockdown period only, without leaving it to the adjudication officer or to the discretionary power of the authority.
According to both FPCE and Chandrasekhar’s letters to the minister, while force majeure benefit is extended to builders, in the same way, the homebuyers also should be taken care of suitably.
They suggested that the interest part on the principle amount of the loan during this Covid19 force majeure period need to be waived as homebuyers are now facing job cuts, unsecured jobs and over and above the rent.
Hence, the RERA Authorities, while exercising their discretion to extend the project’s registration validity, they should direct the builders Suo-motu to compensate the interest part of the EMI till possession of the apartments. Any other extension granted should also provide this benefit to homebuyers.
According to FPCE, this would help financial stability of the homebuyers and avoid default on repayment to banks, and further the surplus cash in hand with homebuyers would increase the rotation to revive the economy.