Mumbai: BMC okays 50% premium payment discount for realty sector

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee (SC) on Friday cleared a special proposal of granting a 50 per cent discount in premium payments to real estate firms for one year.

In order to revive the real estate sector, the Deepak Parekh Committee last year had proposed a 50 per cent cut in all the premiums levied on the ongoing and new construction projects till December 31.

In January this year, the state government had cleared the proposal in the legislative assembly, directing the municipal bodies of the state to take a call on the implementation. Due to which, the proposal was tabled for final approval in the SC on Friday.

The ruling Shiv Sena along with Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) collectively supported the proposal, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposed it.

"Demonetisation had brought the real estate sector into standstill and while they were trying to recover, the corona virus pandemic broke out, we cleared the proposal to boost the real estate sector which plays a key role in state's revenue generation," Yashwant Jadhav, SC chairman told FPJ.

In the meeting it was revealed that BMC earns revenue worth Rs 5,500 crore from real estate premium payments annually. After the new policy gets implemented, the revenue for the financial year will fall down to Rs 2,500 crore for the ongoing year.

"The directive came from the state government itself and the Union finance minister had also announced relief schemes to support the real estate sector which got affected due to economic slowdown," Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and BMC Leader of Opposition told FPJ.

Meanwhile, the BJP has alleged the ruling Sena for appeasing the contractor and real estate lobby by passing this scheme.

"If the administration is so keen on providing economic relief then why they are not waiving off property taxes and license fees which they had proposed to do earlier ? Also how is this going to benefit common Mumbaikars in any way?," questioned Bhalchandra Shirsat, BJP spokesperson in BMC and SC member.

"The state government has only issued a directive, it was not a government resolution, so it could have been opposed easily if the majority parties wanted to," Shirsat stated.

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