Ready reckoner disappoints, charges homebuyers on built-up area | india | Hindustan Times
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Ready reckoner disappoints, charges homebuyers on built-up area

Even though the Maharashtra govt has made it mandatory for builders to sell apartments on the basis of carpet area alone, the revised RR rates reveal that the revenue dept continues to charge stamp duty on the basis of built-up area.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2015 22:30 IST
Naresh Kamath

Even though the Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for builders to sell apartments on the basis of carpet area alone, the revised ready reckoner rates reveal that the revenue department continues to charge stamp duty on the basis of built-up area.

This means that a buyer who has purchased a 1,000-sq ft apartment is charged stamp duty on the basis of 1,200-sq ft – 20% extra.

Housing activists and builders have railed against the government for this double standard. Advocate Vinod Sampat, president of the Cooperative Societies Residents Users and Welfare Association, said the extra charge is unfair. “There is no logic in charging on built-up area, as all transactions take place on the basis of carpet area,” said Sampat.

Anand Gupta, spokesperson of the Builders Association of India (BAI) said the government itself is not clear about its policies. “All the focus is on increasing revenue, rather than making housing affordable. The government is just burdening the homebuyers,” said Gupta.

The carpet area is the actual area of the apartment, calculated from wall to wall. Built-up area, on the other hand, includes the area occupied by the walls and balconies in the apartment. The state has been insisting that buyers be charged on the basis of carpet area.

Stamp duty generates the second-largest amount of revenue in the state, after sales tax. In 2014, the state collected Rs15,948 crore in the form of stamp duty.

Stamp duty registration officials have defended the move, saying they are justified in collecting stamp duty on built-up area. “Our aim is to collect on the basis of the entire plot in which construction took place. The carpet area is always less. We need to cover other areas such as staircases and common areas, which are used by residents,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

Despite the slowdown in the real estate market, the state government has hiked real estate rates by 15% this year, causing angst in the realty sector.

Against norms
* The state government has made it compulsory for builders to sell their apartments on carpet area. This allows the buyer to know the exact area of the apartment he or she is buying.

* Though all agreements are drawn up on the basis of carpet area, builders in the state still charge on super-built-up area. Nowadays, some builders have started selling on the basis of carpet area, but have hiked their rates to make up for possible losses.