Due to the onslaught of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and ever -increasing cases, the Government (State and Central) are taking various measures to curb the spiraling growth of the virus. One such measure was to shut down the Sub-Registrars’ offices across the country as part of the lockdown. However, shutting down of the office cannot be a permanent solution simply due to the damage that it can cause to the real estate industry and unprecedented losses to the State Revenue. Therefore, after the lockdown is lifted, sufficient safeguards need to be in place in order to prevent future spread of the virus while the office becomes functional.
In order to mitigate such unprecedented losses and to aid the real estate industry, the Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps has issued a circular by which certain modifications have been made and certain instructions have been issued. With this article, we have tried to summarize the same, which are as under:
Earlier, in order to avail the e-Registration facility, a minimum of 500 flat purchase agreements were required to be registered. Now, due to the market conditions and the ongoing pandemic, this condition has been removed and the condition is replaced by the following condition:
- The developers who have complied with and adhered to the model RERA agreement would require a minimum of 20 flat purchase agreements to use the e-Registration service.
- For other developers, a minimum of 50 flat purchase agreements would be required to use the e-Registration service.
Earlier, the responsibility of granting clearance/sanction after scrutinising the applications, permissions and the agreements was with the office of the Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps. However, obtaining such a clearance/ sanction was taking a lot of time. Hence, the Joint District Registrar has now been given this responsibility.
WHAT TO DO?
Any interested developer can submit a proposal through an application to the Joint District Registrar in whose jurisdiction their project is situated, either in writing or through a digitally signed soft copy to his official email id.
This application must contain details such as the name of the developer and the project, the RERA registration number and details, number of units sold and unsold and other important details.
Also, along with the proposal/ application, documents such as the RERA registration certificate, annexures of the flat purchase agreement, resolution of the developer company/ NOC of all the partners of the developer firm, the draft of flat purchase agreement (in case if the developer opts to use his own draft instead of the model RERA agreement), authorization letter/ resolution/ power of attorney of the person registering on behalf of the developer and a self-attested affidavit in the required form, are to be attached and submitted.
The circular has made it clear that the Government’s intention is to grant licenses to a maximum number of developers as possible so that the registration process can begin through the developers themselves.
The developers should have a high-speed internet connection, computer, web camera and a biometric thumb scanner. The e-Registration Service will have sufficient security measures and will follow appropriate security protocol in check over the internet. Therefore, connection via MPLS-VPN will not be required.
Representatives who are authorised to sign the document on behalf of the developer should have their own digital signature.
In case the purchaser is unable to visit the developers office to execute the flat purchase agreement, then in such an event, he can execute the same from any place, including his home, where the above-mentioned tools are available.
The development of a mobile app is in progress to enable the purchaser to execute the agreement through his phone. Details of such an app will be shared once its ready for use.
CHARGES TO BE PAID
Once the Joint District Registrar gives permission, the developers who have complied with and adhered to the model RERA agreement would have to deposit an amount of Rs. 10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) and all other developers will have to deposit an amount of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand only) as advance for the use of such service.
An amount of Rs. 1000/- (Rupees One Thousand only) will be required for registration of each agreement, as document handling charges, which amount will be deducted from the advance. Once the advance is exhausted, all agreements will require prior online payment of Rs. 1000/- (Rupees One Thousand only).
In case if the advance amount is not fully utilized, the balance amount will not be refunded. This balance amount will be transferred to the State treasury as administrative charges.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE AUTHORITIES
Joint District Registrar
The Joint District Registrar will be required to scrutinise the applications, the permissions and the agreements and grant clearance/sanction. This sanction order will then be sent to all the necessary offices including the National Informatics Centre, Pune.
This scrutiny would have to be completed within a period of 3 working days.
In case the proposal is rejected, an appeal may be made to the Deputy Inspector General of Registration and his decision will be final.
It will also be his responsibility to keep a track of market value rate, stamp duty rate, making necessary changes in the system, to issue notices to all the concerned parties in case of change, etc.
He will also have to ensure that all Sub-Registrars’ and clerks in charge of the district have digital signatures.
The District Registrar
The District Registrar will be responsible for coordinating between the developer, National Informatics Centre and the Sub Registrar in all proceedings (from initiating registration of system development tests to issuance of No Objection Certificate) till the commencement of e-Registration of the flat purchase agreements.
The Deputy Inspector General of Registration
The Deputy Inspector General of Registration would be responsible to convey this information to a maximum number of developers through the association of developers and should hold a meeting where necessary.
Also, proper planning and action should be taken keeping in view the policy of the government to accommodate maximum number of developers in this system.
In conclusion, we would like to state that with this circular, some relief has been provided to the Real Estate sector as well as the State Revenue. However, only once this system is practically tested, will we know how beneficial this system really is.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.