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Maharashtra Not Happy About Bringing Real Estate Under GST

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Maharashtra Not Happy About Bringing Real Estate Under GST

The Maharashtra state government is not very happy about the real estate sector falling under the regime of GST. The government has asked the GST council to conduct a thorough study about its impact on the state finances and only after that to take any decision.

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that about two weeks ago a letter was sent to the Centre. On 9th November, the GST council will meet to consider the two rates – 5 and 12 percent for low-cost housing and other properties, respectively.

A senior state finance department official said that the state government is at present looking into the impact of the inclusion of real estate in GST. The official added, “Similarly, the Centre and GST Council will have to conduct a study especially on its impact on state revenues. A final decision should be taken only thereafter.”

At this time the GST for the under-construction of real estate projects is bracketed in 19 percent. The Council will look into lowering the GST rates, the possibility of it on real estate and subsume the cost of stamp duty and property registration.

The official stated, “The state is yet to know whether or not the stamp duty and registration charges will be abolished and only GST will be applicable to the entire real estate sector. If both will be effective, then it may lead to a double taxation. The study should consider prevailing GST regime in several other countries before arriving at a conclusion.”

The state government data suggests that in a year it earns over Rs 20,000 crore through stamp duty and registration charges.

The developers are concerned about the reduction in the GST rates. Anand Gupta, Builders Association of India member said the government has issued a clarification that one-third of the current 18 percent GST will be treated as a deduction in lieu of land cost, which equals to 12 percent.

He further said, “The finance ministry should bring GST to 5 percent. It will work out to be 11 to 12 percent after payment of stamp duty and registration charges. I hope the GST at its meeting will take a call to subsume the cost of stamp duty or decide cut GST rate to 5 percent.”

Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and managing director of Hiranandani Group, nonetheless believes that the inclusion of real estate in GST will ease the burden on buyers as they will just have to pay a uniform tax to buy any property.

He said, “The move with single tax on all products will surely benefit consumers, which means all other additional tax & levies like stamp duty, registration, cess will be subsumed under new GST rate to be finalised. This will not only create positive sentiment but it could boost the actual sales”.

Some analysts also argue that the inclusion of entire real estate in GST will be a long and a tedious process. It would require several changes in the existing GST Act as well as amendments to the Constitution.

Also Read: RMZ Corp To Invest $1 Billion To Develop 10 Million Sq Ft Of Office Space In Hyderabad

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Under the PM Awas Yojana Centre Increases Carpet Area Of Middle Income Group Houses

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Under the PM Awas Yojana Centre Increases Carpet Area Of Middle Income Group Houses

On Thursday, a proposal to increase the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the credit-linked subsidy scheme for the Middle Income Group (MIG) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) was cleared by the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After the cabinet meeting, justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that from now on the carpet area of an MIG-I will be increased from 90 sq mts to up to 120 sq mts and for MIG-II category it will be from 110 sq mts to up to 150 sq mts.

Prasad further added, that the move will give buyers in MIG category a wider choice in developers’ projects and boost the sale of ready flats in the affordable housing segment.

A government statement said, “The limit of 120 square metres and 150 square metres is seen as a reasonable enhancement and would cater to the market generally scouted by the MIG belonging to the two income categories specified in the scheme”.

The credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) for MIG is a pioneering step to empower the middle income group to get the benefits of an interest subsidy scheme.

Jaxay Shah, CREDAI’s President said, “Housing for All by 2022 has taken a huge leap forward by the increase in the unit size of MIG Houses under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme. The average middle class would now be able to afford bigger and better quality homes than before in smaller towns and cities”.

The CLSS for middle income group covers two income segments, Rs 600,001 to Rs 1,200,000 for MIG-I and Rs 1,200,001 to Rs 1,800,000 for MIG-II per annum. In the MIG-1, an interest subsidy of 4% has been provided for loan amounts up to Rs 9 lakh, while in MIG-2, an interest subsidy of 3% has been provided for loan amount of Rs 12 lakh.

According to the government statement, “The interest subsidy will be calculated at 9% NPV (Net Present Value) over a maximum loan tenure of 20 years or the actual tenure, whichever is lesser. Housing loans above Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh will be at non-subsidised rates”. The CLSS for MIG would be effective up to March 31, 2019.

NAREDCO chairman Rajeev Talwar and president Niranjan Hiranandani both agreed that this move would help in meeting the aspiration of millions of MIG home buyers.

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Pune Smart City Targets Rs 100 Crore Grant From World Bank

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Pune Smart City Targets Rs 100 Crore Grant From World Bank

On the basis of designing performance-based programmes for smart city, the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL) is eyeing for Rs 100-crore grant from the World Bank. The central government has set criteria to give out money which includes smart city projects their progress and execution. However, PSCDCL is losing out on the progress criterion as its launched projects are moving at a very slow speed.

Rajendra Jagtap, CEO PSCDCL, said, “We have decided to take part in the fast-track round to get grants for Pune’s smart city projects. There are three categories, which we need to fulfil. Except for some problems faced in the execution of projects and their progress, we are sure we are fulfilling all the mentioned criteria. The World Bank will be giving Rs 100 crore for every city in every state that fulfils the criteria. We are quite ahead in Maharashtra, compared to other cities in the state. So, we are confident of getting Rs 100 crore. Before I took charge as the CEO, there was a delay in floating tenders for the Smart City company. Therefore, there has been a little delay in execution and progress of the projects.”

“Owing to people’s protests against some projects, we faced a problem in starting and executing projects. The Aundh area street design project is one such example. Now, we have decided on people’s participation before starting projects in their area,” said senior PSCDCL official explaining reasons for a delay.

The 14 smart city projects that have kicked off are:

  • Livelihood through The Lighthouses of Pune;
  • Slum rehabilitation of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar vasahat Aundh;
  • Street and pedestrian walkway;
  • Central command and control centre for public transport;
  • Vehicle health monitoring;
  • Passenger information through mobile app and website;
  • City common mobility card;
  • Traffic demand modelling project;
  • Pune maximum solar city;
  • Plastic bottle recycling project;
  • Smart lighting;
  • 100 percent grievance redressal system for water with the help of PMC care;
  • Quantified cities movement;
  • The garbage vehicle monitoring management system.

Out of these 14 projects, The Lighthouses of Pune, PMC care, plastic bottles recycling project, mobile application project and the central command and control centre for public transport project have been completed. Nonetheless, the remaining projects are still underway even after starting more than a year ago.

A screening framework has been prepared, comprising three sections — Part A, B and C in order to facilitate the screening of states and short listing of SPVs which are interested in participating in the Indian Smart Cities Programme. SPVs should be presented on November 30 after all information is furnished by the state. December 11 is the last date of receiving the submission from the state/union territory.

Also Read: Almost 52 Percent Of Residential Units Registered Under MahaRERA Remain Unsold: Report

 

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RERA To Ensure Completion Of Realty Projects

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Cluster Redevelopment In Thane City Gets Approved By Maharashtra CM

RERA’s senior counsel, Darius Khambata said on Monday that the overriding principle of RERA Act is to ensure completion of a project. He explained that the original promoter does not his loose the right over the project and unsold flats, even if its registration is revoked for breach caused by him and the RERA authority tasks another builder to complete work, as a contractor.

Khambata has been appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to support Bombay HC before a bench of Justices Naresh Patil and R G Ketkar to whom daylong submissions were made on a constitutional challenge filed by builders to RERA provisions.

Enforced on May 1, the builder had argued that RERA Act is unduly penal and violates their fundamental right to trade, in property, and by its retroactive application on pending projects illegally impairs old contractual obligations. RERA allows developers at a chance at redemption by giving fresh timelines at the time of registration to complete pending projects.

Khambata stated, “There are sufficient safeguards that protect a promoter if there is a bona fide stay on a project,” pointing to sections 8 and 37 that allow the promoter to be appointed a contractor to complete a project even if registration of a project is revoked over defaults. The revocation can only cease the sale of flats and not meddle with any other promoter rights just because his obligation to the building is taken away.

Khambata said the Act was constitutional and reasonable. What, however, should “be struck down as unconstitutional” is the provision that allows an “additional chief secretary or member of Indian Legal Services” to be appointed as a `judicial member’ on the RERA appellate tribunal. The judicial member has to mean a judge or a person qualified to be a judge, something the builders also said.

Khambata submitted that there is no acquisition or expropriation of the builder’s right to the project and refuting submissions made earlier by a builder’s lawyer.

Also Read: CREDAI New India Summit

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