Watchdog mooted to keep check on real estate frauds


New Delhi : A watchdog or a monitoring panel has been suggested for regulating India’s realty industry to check “fake advertisements” inserted in leading national newspapers that invite people to invest in dream homes.

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“Budding real estate developers have been flooding national dailies with fake advertisements, luring the aam adami’s (common man’s) hard-earned money,” said the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

“The government should set up a watchdog, or else a monitoring committee, to protect sweat incomes of `aam adami’ and the upper middle class, including NRIs, as also to monitor actual project costs,” the chamber said in a statement.

Assocham said misleading advertisements with inflated project costs and improper plans can be seen in states like Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, to exploit their connectivity to the national capital.

“An adverse impact of this falls on leading real estate developers who are genuine and actually building townships in these locations,” chamber president V.N. Dhoot said in a statement.

Assocham says not many investors in the real estate sector are aware of the real intentions of fake advertisers who claim to be builders, and get carried away with the promises and schedules for completion of projects.

Nowhere in the advertisements is it ever mentioned that concerned departments have duly approved the real estate developers’ site plans, and controversy often arises after investors have parked significant amounts of money, the chamber said.

“It holds that if there is a proper mechanism in place, investors can approach it for redressing their grievances and get cheaters booked,” the chamber said, adding that the investment of billions of rupees can be better utilised in the process.

The industry lobby says the watchdog must draw its members from the ministry of urban development, development commissioners, leading real estate developers, retired judges and industry representatives with experience in realty industry.