Conversion from leasehold to freehold in Chandigarh likely soon | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Conversion from leasehold to freehold in Chandigarh likely soon

In January this year, the UT administration had decided to allow conversion of residential properties from leasehold to freehold. The rates were fixed — 7.5% to 20% of the collector rate — and sent to the MHA for approval.

punjab Updated: Jul 16, 2017 16:35 IST
HT Correspondent
Once the MHA gives it the go ahead, the decision will benefit 50,000 residential properties in Chandigarh.
Once the MHA gives it the go ahead, the decision will benefit 50,000 residential properties in Chandigarh.(Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

The Union ministry of urban development (MoUD) has reportedly asked the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to direct the Chandigarh administration to allow conversion of properties from leasehold to freehold and fix the rates.

In January this year, the UT administration had decided to allow conversion of residential properties from leasehold to freehold. The rates were fixed — 7.5% to 20% of the collector rate — and sent to the MHA for approval.

Once the MHA gives it the go ahead, the decision will benefit 50,000 residential properties in Chandigarh.

Sources in the administration said as soon as they receive the directions, the rates for commercial and industrial properties will also be finalised. There are around 5,000 commercial and industrial properties on leasehold in the city.

55,000 PROPERT OWNER TO BENEFITS
  • WHAT IS LEASEHOLD? A property on leasehold can be occupied for a limited period, mostly for 99 years. The real ownership remains with the UT administration.
  • WHAT IS FREEHOLD? The person having freehold of property is its owner and can utilise it for any purpose.
  • HOW CONVERSION AFFECTS YOU? “It gives you peace of mind if you are the owner,” says Sunil Kumar, former chairman of the property consultants association. The conversion from leasehold to freehold will also facilitate sale of properties, he says. Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president of the Sector-17 traders’ association, says the traders have to pay lease at 2.5% of the amount at which the shop is auctioned every year. They are still not the owners. This will change once the conversion to freehold gets the nod.
  • WHAT’S THERE FOR UT? The UT administration can earn up to m500-crore revenue if they allow the conversion. At present, it is earning just a few lakhs from the lease money, says Sunil Kumar. Panchhi says the UT will also be able to earn more from stamp duty on registries.

PATIL IMPOSED BAN IN 2013

In2013,the then UT administrator Shivraj Patil had imposed a ban on the conversion of property, leaving the decision to the MHA.

Patil was of the view that allowing conversion will make the leaseholder an owner, which couldn’t be allowed at a price lower than the market price. He feared that it would lead to a scam, as otherwise properties were either auctioned or sold at market price. He wanted the decision to be taken at highest level.

RESIDENTS WELCOME MOVE

The city residents have been demanding the conversion for long. Sources said the urban development ministry has told the MHA that the conversion of leasehold to freehold was part of the government’s policy and Chandigarh residents shouldn’t be deprived of it.

Welcoming the development, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president of the Sector-17 traders’ association, said: “We have been fighting for it (conversion). As of now, we have to pay lease money at 2.5% of the amount at which the shop is auctioned every year. If the amount is Rs 1 crore, we deposit Rs 2.5 lakh. Then we also have to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) now. But we are still not the owners.”

“The conversion from leasehold to freehold will facilitate sale of properties,” says Sunil Kumar, Laghu Udyog Bharti vice-president and ex-chairman of the property consultants association.