Real Estate Bill to be taken up in Rajya Sabha today

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha is likely to see a heated debate over the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill that is listed for consideration on Tuesday.

 

The Congress has said it will oppose the bill strenuously as it is anti-home buyer and pro builder. However, on Monday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi pulled out of a home-buyers protest at the last minute.

 

Union Law and Justice Minister DV Sadananda Gowda slammed Rahul asking him to study the new real estate bill before protesting.

Facing number crunch in Rajya Sabha, the government was forced to defer the bill on April 29 after opposition insisted on referring it to Select Committee of Parliament.

 

Cornered by the Opposition, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had then said that the Bill should be deferred to allow the government time to have more consultations with parties and had promised to bring it back to the House.

 

While Congress’ opposition to the bill has become even more aggressive in last four-five days, the government seems to be working to garner the support of some regional parties to pass the bill.

 

The government has been insisting that the bill is aimed to regulate and promote real estate sector and protect the interest of consumers.

The government’s argument is that the Standing Committee had representation from all political parties, and that it went ahead with amendments after “exhaustive consultations” with all stakeholders.

Last week, the Congress Vice President met organisations representing home-buyers to discuss concerns about a new real estate bill proposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government. He has called the bill anti-consumers as it allegedly dilutes penalties for late delivery of homes. The bill allegedly does not safeguard against money being diverted from one project to another.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, however, took objection to Gandhi’s escalated attack on the issue saying he was amused that someone is trying to hog the spotlight.

“All opposition parties in Rajya Sabha united five days ago to send the Real Estate bill to a select committee. Amused that someone is trying to hog the spotlight,” O’Brien had said in an apparent reference to Gandhi.

The Congress has decided to take the issue of changes brought about by the NDA government in the real estate bill to people and bring out the “contrast” between UPA’s Real Estate Bill and NDA’s legislation on the line of what it did in the case of the land acquisition Act.

 

This is also the last week of the Budget session of Parliament and the government is facing difficulty in pushing the crucial Goods and Services Tax Bill and the Land Bill.

 

With backing from the Trinamool Congress on the GST Bill, the Narendra Modi government looks set to push its key reforms agenda in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress is sticking to its demand to refer the bill to a Standing Committee. Other parties in the opposition including the BJD and Left have also joined the chorus. The reason for TMC’s change of heart is the promise by the Centre that a compensation will be given to states due to the roll-out of GST.

(With inputs from PTI)

 

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