'Timelines for housing projects extended to ensure flats delivery'

New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) The government has extended the timelines for completion of housing projects by six months to protect the interest of homebuyers and ensure they get delivery of their flats with some delay, as the construction work has been impacted due to COVID-19 outbreak, according to the PMO.

'Due to COVID-19, the work of ongoing real estate projects has halted,' the PMO said in response to a petition by Samachar Foundation Director B N Kumar. Large scale reverse migration of labour and huge disruption in supply chain of material, have adversely impacted the construction work, said the letter, which was circulated to media by the NGO.

'Labour is least likely to return before festivals in October -November get over. In such circumstances, real estate projects will take quite some time to resume work fully. Surely this will delay completion of projects leading to lot of litigations for non compliance of commitments on time and make projects fail or get stressed,' the PMO said.

In order to safeguard the interest of all stake-holders, especially home buyers and to ensure delivery of houses, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs advised States and RERA to invoke the force majeure clause under the law, the letter said.

So far, 23 states' RERA have extended registration of projects by six months and one (state) by nine months in view of the situation created by COVID19, it added.

The PMO also highlighted that the RBI has allowed moratorium of 6 months till August to homebuyers for payment of dues in view of COVID-19.

'These measures have been taken to ensure that projects do not get stalled due to disruptions caused by the pandemic and flats and homes get delivered to the homebuyers albeit with some delay,' the letter said.

Homebuyers, with lifetime savings invested in dream home projects, are interested in flats and homes, not litigations or making developers get failed, it said and added that the interests of homebuyers have been ensured through this extension.

The realty law RERA is to safeguard interest of homebuyers and that has been done, the letter said.

On the other demand raised by the foundation to revive the real estate sector, the PMO said that 'valuable suggestions have been noted and appropriate action will be taken.' PTI MJH ANZ MR