KOLKATA: This may bring cheer to people like Sushil Das who own yet-to-be-registered flats in cooperative housing societies. The housing society where Das lives in Rajarhat set up 10 flats in 2006 measuring 1,000 sq ft each. The cost of each unit was only Rs 10 lakh then. But with the flat's current valuation shooting above Rs 30 lakh, Das, who is retired man, could not afford to pay the sky-high registration fee. But thanks to the Mamata Banerjee government's tweak in registration rules, now Das can record his flat by paying stamp duty on only Rs 10 lakh, the original cost of the flat.
Following alteration of a major anomaly in valuation of built-up residential space in localities across the city as well as commercial space in the Salt Lake Sector V IT hub last week, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to allow the original members of cooperative societies across the state to pay stamp duties according to the cost of construction of the property. The state finance department issued an order in this regard a few days back.
Even according to conservative estimates, over 85,000 flats under different cooperative societies are not being registered because of the price escalation of real estate in the last five to six years. The new rule will benefit 85,000 families and their members who could now become legal owners. This would be good for the exchequer as well as the state government and different corporations, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
None of these 85,000 flats had mutation because there were no legal owners. So there was no scope to garner tax revenue from these properties. A state government official pointed out that there are cooperative societies in Salt Lake, Rajarhat, north Kolkata, Burdwan and Durgapur where a majority of flats are not being registered.
State finance minister Amit Mitra said the middle-class people of Bengal will benefit from this initiative of the state government. "The state government wants to empower them to become the legal owners of their flats and bring them into the mainstream," he added.
According to the notification, all the flats or houses constructed on or before March 2013 through cooperative housing societies will get this benefit. "The benefit will be given till March 2014," an official added.
The notification also says that all the flats under construction by housing societies will get the benefit if the registration is done within 24 months of the completion. However, this will not be applicable in case of transfer of property by any member of the society.
"This will be a huge benefit for retired people in Salt Lake and north Kolkata where prices have escalated many times," a government official added.