The homebuyers in the state are still left shelling out 20% extra on stamp duty as the revenue department continues to levy the duty based on built-up area.
This, after the state government insisting on sale of flats based on the carpet area and the Centre’s Housing Regulator Bill making this practice mandatory.
The state government, which hiked the ready reckoner (RR) rates on Thursday by an average of 7%, did not correct the anomaly. This means if a buyer purchases a flat with the carpet area of 1,000 square feet, he has to pay stamp duty for 1,200 square feet.
Highlighting the issue, housing activists said they want the government to walk their talk. “The government is forcing builders to sell by carpet area, while it continues to charge on built up area, which is a wrong practice,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA).
Likewise, the builders too have demanded uniformity in all transactions. “You cannot have different standards for the same structure,” said Bhavesh Sanghrajka, chairman and managing director, Shraddha Lifescapes.
The state has been insisting on selling flats based on carpet area as it will allow the buyer to know the exact area of the flat. However, the stamp duty and registration officials have defended the move saying that they are liable to collect on the built up area.
“At present, we base our annual RR calculations on built up area. If we calculate on the basis of carpet area, there will be chaos as all other costs such as taxes, premiums as well as property tax will increase manifold. The current method is beneficial for the buyer as he just has to pay extra on the stamp duty,” said the official, who did not wish to be named.