With a massive slowdown hitting the realty sector, builders and activists have asked the state government not to hike the ready reckoner (RR) rates in the coming year, as it will make houses costlier. The builders plan to meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and revenue minister Eknath Khadse in this regard.
They contend that apart from the stamp duty, even the premium paid on the floor space index (FSI), property tax and open spaces is linked to the RR rates, which makes housing costlier.
Over the past f ew years, there has been an annual hike in the RR rates. According to the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), the state needs to either reduce the RR rates or keep them stable. “Any hike will have a detrimental effect on the real estate sector,” said Dharmesh Jain, president-elect, MCHI.
According t o real estate research firm Liases Foras, the current RR rates are unrealistically exorbitant. “The RR rates are almost as high as the market rates. In some cases, they are higher than the market rates,” said Pankaj Kapoor, CEO, Liases Foras.
Take for instance, Pandurang Budhkar Marg at Worli and Lower Parel, said Kapoor. The RR rates in these areas are in the range of Rs 39,511 and Rs 38,175 per s quare f eet onwards. Malabar Hill has an RR rate of Rs 82,263 per square feet. In the suburbs, the RR rate at Andheri (West) is Rs 17,433 per square feet while in Borivli it is Rs 12,143 per square feet, said Kapoor.
Activists have accused the state government of earning revenue at the cost of the flat buyers.
“How can you have a uniform RR rate for the entire area, when the realty rates differ according to the profile of the builders, the type of construction and the amenities provided?” said advocate Vinod Sampat, president, Cooperative Societies Residents Users Association.
“The government should ideally reduce the RR rates to provide relief to home buyers. But here, it’s the opposite; the focus is on earning the maximum revenue,” he said.
According to a senior revenue department official, over the years, there have been a rise in the number of transactions. “We have a comprehensive system to determine the RR rate. A hike is implemented only after studying the scenario,” said the official.