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Khoslas without Ghoslas
Regulation is required in the housing sector that thrives on cheats
You saw the movie and laughed. Many Indians have experienced the movie, and cried! Despite all the talks on the booming housing sector in the country, it remains one of the most unregulated markets, with buyers falling prey to extremely organised gangs of property dealers and cheats, who deal in selling property with fraudulent registration papers. It’s distressingly deplorable that almost no safeguard exists for the common man against such cheats in the property market. That sense of insecurity, for a common man, unfortunately exists in a sector that is not only considered to be the second largest employer after agriculture, but is approximately growing at around 30% per annum. Also, the housing sector contributes around 5% to the GDP and is likely to contribute up to 6% in three to four years.
Consider also the tremendous demand the housing sector has – the Tenth Five Year Plan estimates a shortage of around 22.4 million housing units in the coming years. And as millions of housing units would be needed in the future for the needs of the middle and lower income group families, steps are urgently warranted for safeguarding the interests of the consumers here, primary being changes in the archaic laws that have been in place. The age-old Rent Control Act, Urban Land Ceiling Act and most bureaucratic governmental control have ensured the mushrooming of manipulators and middleman.
For the sector to reach its legitimate height, it is necessary that regulation is established out not only on property dealers, but also on private construction companies whose records on keeping the promises while building flats have seldom been up to the mark. But of most compelling need is to provide prospective buyers with a one window clearance mechanism where they could check the authenticity of the housing papers.
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