Day Two of the 2nd edition of the REMI Owner Developer Program began with a highly interactive panel discussion where there was a great deal of learning on both sides. The 3 speakers representing the Project’s, Accounting and Design aspects of the construction process shared a great amount of relevant knowledge based on actual experience. The participants on the other hand, asked pertinent questions and also shared their own challenges in the context.
Among the first things discussed was how life had actually changed post RERA?
To that, the answer was – Awareness, Discipline & Accountability – a 3 fold change!
Quite simply, before RERA, the consumers did not have any recourse to fight for their rights whereas now not only do they have clarifications on what their rights are but also in case of defaults they now have an enforcing agency to go to.
Even a simple clarification like sales based on carpet area instead of a super built area makes a big difference to the consumer, which earlier was severely lacking.
Moreover now the developer’s obligations are also made very clear and not ambiguous any more. That virtually lays the developer’s deliverables very clearly on the table. No more grey areas!
From a projects perspective, the biggest change has been the focus on delivery and structured organisations already had processes in place for this. The emphasis should always be on freezing specifications at the start of the project which would of course directly impact the budget. More so now that under RERA, changes are not entertained in design, this makes it extremely important.
There was a definite agreement amongst the panelists that with RERA, professionalization is the need of the hour and would also be a natural outcome
While pre-RERA, spends were at the cost and consequences of the investors, now the developer would spend first and then be reimbursed only to the extent of spends, subject to the sales.
The questions that came as soon as the panelists shared their views ranged from how does one estimate inception level costs? What about tax on unsold inventory? Can my 70% be used to pay my taxes etc to clear definitions of carpe areas, MOFA vs RERA and more.
The Q & A as anticipated, gave a chance for clarifications and a lot of food for thought for all present.
The key take aways were the need to organise and focus on micro level planning in order to meet RERA stipulations in all areas. Also the importance of doing research and a thorough study at the very start was emphasised. Finally there ought to be provisions for liaisioning, focus on on-boarding quality vendors and on getting good people for finishing
And to round off with a quote of the Maha-RERA regulator Mr.Gautam Chatterjee in his advice to a consumer – “Don’t be interested in getting interest but in having the project completed. If the developer survives, you survive”.