FEARING DIP in revenues, the State Government has ruled out slashing of stamp duty from eight to five percent as recommended by the Centre. It has informed the Centre that looking at its not so sound financial condition, it was not in a position to comply with the recommendation, but would consider it within five years from now.
The Centre has proposed to have uniform stamp duty all over the country. It has made a similar recommendation under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) benefit provisions of which Indore is the State’s biggest beneficiary.
The State Government’s fear of revenue loss is not unfounded. Indore district, which contributes highest registration and stamp duty in the State, has gone through this crisis when its income dipped by 14 per cent in one year. Official records indicate that the district earned Rs 48.84 crore when the stamp duty was 12.50 per cent in 1997-98.
However, this plummeted to Rs 42.80 crore in the next financial year when the stamp duty was cut down to 9.5 per cent. The number of registries, too, went down from 38,188 in 1997-98 to 30,573 in 1998-99.
States like Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh charge 10 per cent stamp duty, while Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana are at par with MP in levying stamp duty. “Even the stamp duty in Bihar and Orissa is more than MP,” District Registrar, stamps and duty, N S Tomar said.
Meanwhile, the City Congress unit and Indore District Property Association have registered protest and demanded reduction in duty to five per cent. The Association has pitched a tent near District Registrar office and launched signature campaign to gain public support for the demand. BJP leaders, in a section of Press, had also protested the stamp duty knowing well that it was their government, which was keen to retain present tariff rate.