Mumbai: Several reasons behind delay in MHADA lottery this year

Mumbai: Property buyers seeking affordable housing eagerly wait each year for the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s annual lottery. The lottery offers some promising homes at prime locations for lucrative rates. Surprisingly, this is the first time that the authority’s annual lottery was delayed disappointing several others.

Every year, MHADA conducts its annual lottery on May 31 for which it makes the announcements 45 days prior to the lottery date. While officials stated that the rollout of Real Estate Regulatory Authority was one of the major reasons behind the delay, sources said that there were several other reasons that stalled several other works. The absence of its Vice President Zende during the month of May, the annual lottery month, has been one of the reasons behind the delay.

According to sources, the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) also led to prolonging of the MHADA lottery. Firstly, the authorities had to stop the sale of flats since they had to register their projects on the RERA website before its deadline of July 31. Following this, the prices of the flats were to be decided after considering the inclusion of GST charges.

“On the entire cost of the lottery flats, 12 per cent GST charges would be added. However, the tax is to be levied on flats that do not have occupation certificates. Flats that are in ready-possession will be free from the tax. Accordingly, the officials had to scrutinise all the documents once again wherein all the certificates were checked in order to include or exclude the tax charges on the total amount,” revealed the source.

The prices of application forms of the lottery will include the tax charges. MHADA charges Rs 300 for application forms and with the inclusion of GST, the prices will be Rs 336. The prices of the flats have not been declared as yet. The officials added that MHADA will soon announce it annual lottery and the prices of the flats will also be declared.

The authority was seeking legal opinion in order to get a clarity on the exemption of GST charges on the lottery flats. This further delayed the entire process of lottery.

In addition to this, the authority has the least number of flats this year due to land scarcity. After several media reports which stated that there are no houses for the economically weaker section, the authority started hunting for more unsold flats of the previous lottery. After much struggle, the housing body is offering nearly 800 houses in this year’s lottery. The advertisements for the lottery with all the details of flats will be out anytime soon in August.

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