FPJ Exclusive: Realty players bat for 50% cut in stamp duty on residential homes, concession in land under construction tax

Realty players representing CREDAI-MCHI and NAREDCO on Monday met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and made a slew of demands including reduction in stamp duty by 50% pertaining to the residential housing units in the state, cut the tax rates determined for open lands and reconsider the applicability of Metro Cess in the jurisdiction of Thane and Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporations.

CREDAI-MCHI President Nayan Shah and NAREDCO President Niranjan Hiranandani argued that the government's intervention in this regard will help the dream of Housing for All by 2022 can be achieved. Thackeray, who was accompanied by housing minister Jitendra Awhad, urban development minister Eknath Shinde, industries minister Subhash Desai and transport minister Anil Parab, assured the delegation that a high-level committee comprising senior bureaucrats and representatives of realty sector will be set up and the committee will meet from February 11 onwards to discuss issues raised at today's meeting and recommend slew of steps.

Realty players said that 6% stamp duty on residential housing adds to the financial burden of the home buyers. They insisted that the government needs to reduce the stamp duty by 50% for all residential houses by March 31, 2020, so that the dwelling units are more affordable and economic. This will further help in boosting sales and liquidity in the cash strapped real estate sector.

Hiranandani told FPJ,'' CM has agreed to set up a committee to find a way out for the problems faced by the real estate sector, home buyers and slum dwellers who are dishoused. The appeal was also made to mitigate financial constraints.

''On the other hand, Shah urged the government to streamline the policy decisions and amend the Slum Rehabilitation Act to expedite the rehabilitation projects in the city.

Further, the realty players called upon the government to give concessions in land under construction tax and waive the same for rehabilitation component for slum rehabilitation projects. They demanded that the land under construction tax be levied only on sale portion of the plot for slum rehabilitation schemes and it is to be computed on net plot area after deducting the lands under reservation. Further, they urged the government to levy water and sewerage charges on zonal floor space index.

In addition, the realty players demanded that the levy of property tax on open lands and land under construction should be reduced at the earliest. They called upon the government not to impose water and sewerage charges on rehabilitation component.

On Metro tax in Thane and Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation areas, the realty players said it was applicable retrospectively from 2016 which in addition to development charges, staircase premiums. They demanded that applicability of Metro Cess be made from April 1, 2020 onwards.

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