Punjab is heading towards yet another year of dull revenue receipts from stamp duty and property registration, signalling no change in the dampened real-estate sentiment in the state. The five-month collection has hit a new low, worst since 2011, only marginally higher than the figures of 2010, when the realty bubble burst, crashing property prices.
Till August 31, the revenue department has gathered more than Rs 970 crore from stamp duty and property registration in the current fiscal, higher than Rs 900 crore collected in the corresponding period of the year 2010-11 but much lower than the revenue made in the same period in the four years starting from 2011-12. The total annual revenue generation under this head is going down gradually for all these four years; and the department has been unable to meet its target for the year. The year 2011-12 started on an encouraging note, when the state earned more than its target, while last fiscal saw it fall Rs 200-crore short of the target (see box).
Depreciation of stamp duty is an evidence of the lack of interest in real estate, and in places such as Zirakpur, the supply is far outstretching the demand for flats, plots and apartment floors. The auction of commercial and residential property by the government urban bodies across the state have over the years witnessed unexciting response from buyers.
However, despite the property buyer’s sagging sentiment, Amritsar, SAS Nagar and Ludhiana are still among the few districts showing an upward trend in revenue collection. The highest jump this year was reported from Amritsar, where the revenue collection from registration has gone up by more than 30% from last year’s figures till August 31. SAS Nagar clocked an increase of more than 16% and Ludhiana made a marginal improvement of more than 5%. The other districts to have made small improvement are Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala and Tarn Taran.
53% decline in Muktsar district
All other districts recorded a major fall in collections. Political hotbed Muktsar has seen a decline of more than 53%, followed by Kapurthala, Faridkot, Jalandhar and Moga all recording more than 40% decrease. The 30-to-40% decline zone covers Barnala, Bathinda, Rupnagar and Sangrur. In the rest of the districts, revenue generation dropped by more than 20%.