NEW DELHI: There is no dearth of issues. Certainly, Rahul Gandhi is finding ways to lash out against the Government. This time it was concerning the flat buyers versus the big builders, an issue that finds resonance in the bigger cities undergoing massive urbanisation.
On Saturday, days ahead of the Real Estate Bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha, the Congress vice-president met a group of 100 house buyers at party headquarters and assured to take up their cause, like he did for farmers and the poor people in the country. He accused the Government of being pro-builder.
“Government, which has been working against farmers and tribals, is working against the middle class in the same manner,” Rahul told reporters.
“I have assured them that the way I am helping the poor and the tribals, I will do the same for the middle class and will stand by them,” he added.
Rahul said he had learnt that it is not just farmers and tribals but also the middle class too are suppressed on matters related to land.
“They are told that you will get the flat on a particular day but for years nothing happened. They are told the super duper area of the flat would be so much but what is delivered is different,” the Congress leader said.
He met motley group flat buyers along with Ajay Maken, the former UPA minister who had earlier introduced the Real Estate Bill in 2013.
With Rahul taking up the issue, it is certain that the Congress along with other parties would stall its clearance.
The Opposition would once again paint the Government as pro-rich and pro-builder.
Talking about the Bill, he argued that certain provisions have been diluted in favour of the builders.
“Main dilution is that earlier there was transparency. The carpet area that you sign is what would be given. They have diluted that now and from pro-buyer made it pro-builder.”
The Congress argues that the new Bill has certain ambiguous provisions to fool the buyers.
Former Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Minister and Congress leader Ajay Maken too attacked the BJP-led NDA Government.
“In the earlier Bill, the builder was under obligation to keep 70 per cent of the amount realised from buyers from a particular project. This clause was introduced with the aim to ensure that the builder doesn’t divert the money taken from home buyers and projects are completed on time. Now this section has been weakened and the 70 per cent limit is reduced to 50 per cent,” he said.
“Moreover, the amended Bill allows members of Real Estate Regulatory Authority to take employment with private builders, after demitting office. This is repulsive and will encourage unholy nexus between builders and the Authority,” Maken said.