Maharashtra Housing Bill tabled in state assembly

As per the proposed bill, the promoter will have to make full disclosure of his housing project, register and display it on the website of the housing regulatory authority. Any promoter who fails to comply with the provisions will have to pay heavy penalty ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs1 crore

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Bill, which was introduced in the legislative assembly on Wednesday, aims at protecting the interest of flat purchasers and usher in transparency and discipline in transaction of flats by putting a check on malpractices, reports PTI.

It also proposes to repeal the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act and establish Housing regulatory authority and Housing Appellate Tribunal for ensuring effective implementation of the law.

Minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir said the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act of 1963 was made to prevent malpractices of promoters or developers of properties during the time when there was acute shortage of housing in several areas of the state.

After a lapse of more than four decades, housing activities have stabilised and there is a need for continuous control and monitoring.

He said the existing rules are not effective in protecting the interest of flat purchasers and promoters would avoid the statutory obligations imposed on them.

The aggrieved flat purchasers could only approach the consumer forum or civil courts for acts of omission or commission of provisions of the Act.

He said the new bill aims to protect the interests of the flat purchasers.

Establishing the Housing Regulatory Authority and the Housing Appellate Tribunal will help promote planned and healthy development, construction, sale, transfer and management of flats, residential buildings.

The Bill also proposes to protect public interest in relation to conduct and integrity of promoters and other persons engaged in the development of flats and facilitating smooth and speedy constructions and maintenance of such properties.

The minister said as per the proposed bill, the promoter will have to make full disclosure of his housing project, register and display it on the website of the housing regulatory authority.

There will be no transaction including sale or marketing for sale of flats in the new project without registering it and displaying it on the website of the authority.

The responsibility of entering record or details on the website lies with the promoter.

Any promoter who fails to comply with the provisions will have to pay heavy penalty ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs1 crore.

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CCI to come out with final report on cement cartel in 15 days

CCI is probing the cement cartelisation issue on various fronts like retail sales price of the building materials and creation of the artificial shortage scenario by producing less than their capacity

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Wednesday said it will take at least 15 days time to come out with its final report on alleged cartelisation by 39 cement companies, reports PTI.

“There will be 2-3 meetings of the members. So far, there had been no sittings. It will take at least 15 days for us to prepare the final report,” a senior CCI member told PTI on condition of anonymity.

He said allegations of cartelisation were there against 39 cement makers, both large and small, but he did not name any saying, “This would be improper”.

The Indian cement industry comprises of 183 large cement plants and more than 360 mini cement plants. Large producers, around 40 of them, contribute 97% to the installed capacity which now stands at around 330 million tonnes a year.

Cartels are arrangements between firms not to compete on price and product and are aimed at raising the price above the competitive levels. For consumers, cartelisation results in higher prices, poor quality and less or no choices of goods.

CCI is probing the cement cartelisation issue on various fronts like retail sales price of the building materials and creation of the artificial shortage scenario by producing less than their capacity.

The official wondered how come the cement price was higher in Kolkata where there is no cement plant and it needs to be transported from other places than places like Satna in Madhya Pradesh where cement is actually being produced.

“At one point of time, the average price of cement in Kolkata was Rs280 for a bag of 50 kg and it was Rs282 a bag at the same time in Satna,” he said.

The watchdog is also looking into the supply shortage issue and found that cement companies were running far below than their plant capacity at around 70%.

“When you are increasing the price, you are saying there is a shortage and price is determined by the demand-supply dynamics. If so, then how come you are not producing to your rated capacity?” he wondered.

“It seems that now-a-days, price has no co-relation with the cost of production,” the official said.

He said cement companies were making higher profits by selling their products at higher prices and “circumstantial evidences” found that their return on capital is higher than that of the other industries, where it varies between 15%-16%.

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IIP growth likely to moderate in February: Experts

“Notwithstanding the improvement in core sector growth, IIP growth is expected to decelerate to around 4.2% in February from the 6.8% reading in the previous month. A lower PMI and easing export growth in the month point towards a moderation of manufacturing growth,” ICRA economist Aditi Nayar said

New Delhi: The country’s industrial output growth in February is expected to fall below 6.8% recorded in January even though there are some signs of pick-up in manufacturing and consumer goods, reports PTI.

“As far as the IIP growth is concerned, it will remain flat in February this year and our projection is about 6.14% for the month. Though, this is little less than the previous month, it is still a good number,” Bank of Baroda chief economist Rupa Rege-Nitsure told PTI.

The IIP for the month of February is scheduled to be released on Thursday.

Growth in factory output growth, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew 6.8% in January 2012, over the previous month, mainly due to improvement in the manufacturing sector. It was, however, higher at 7.5% in January 2011.

“We have seen stronger activities in some core sectors (in February) like manufacturing and consumer goods in which the growth is likely to improve and touch more or less the same number,” Ms Rege-Nitsure added.

IIP growth has been revised upwards to 2.5% in December, from the provisional estimates of 1.8%.

However, DK Joshi, chief economist, Crisil said, “It is difficult to predict at this moment. However, there could a moderation in growth in some of the sectors.” 

Echoing similar views, ICRA economist Aditi Nayar is of the view that the IIP growth could further decelerate to 4.2%.

“Notwithstanding the improvement in core sector growth, IIP growth is expected to decelerate to around 4.2% in February from the initial 6.8% reading in the previous month. A lower PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) and easing export growth in the month point towards a moderation of manufacturing growth,” she said.

According to the data released last month, output of the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the index, rose 8.5% in January, compared to 8.1% in the same month last year.

During the April-January period of 2011-12, the IIP growth stood at 4%, as against 8.3% in same period in 2010-11.

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