Karnataka Legislative Council passes FAR Amendment Bill amid boycott by BJP | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Karnataka Legislative Council passes FAR Amendment Bill amid boycott by BJP

ANI | | Posted by Pathi Venkata Thadhagath
Feb 23, 2024 07:44 AM IST

The Bill was passed in the Council after a marathon debate and a boycott by the BJP members.

Karnataka's Legislative Council on Thursday passed the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which provides for availing of additional floor area ratio (FAR) by paying a rate not less than 40% of the guidance value.

The Bill was tabled in the Legislative Council by Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who also holds the Bengaluru City Development portfolio.
The Bill was tabled in the Legislative Council by Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who also holds the Bengaluru City Development portfolio.

The Bill was passed in the Council after a marathon debate and a boycott by the BJP members.

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The Bill was tabled in the Legislative Council by Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who also holds the Bengaluru City Development portfolio.

The Bill allows developers to build additional floors by purchasing additional FAR and paying a fee of 40% of the guidance value to the local planning authorities. The Bill also allows selling FAR.

The premium FAR has been limited to 0.4 per cent.

The limit for the Transferrable Development Right (TDR) is 0.6 per cent. Premium FAR provision is expected to increase revenue to local planning authorities, which therefore can invest more in developmental works.

The Bill provides for the proceeds from premium FAR fees to be used for land acquisition and development of basic amenities. The FAR is currently determined on the basis of the road width, zones and other parameters.

Congress MLA Nagaraj Yadav, participating in the discussion, said, "The new Bill is welcome. Providing full powers to the local planning authorities to issue premium FAR will quick decentralised decision making."

Pointing out that additional construction due to additional FAR may result in congestion on smaller roads, BJP MLA K S Naveen sought government intervention on the matter. "This will increase strain on Bengaluru's infrastructure and hence the government should pass the Bill only after detailed deliberation by a review committee," BJP MLA Keshavaprasad argued. Congress MLA M R Seetharam opposed any review committee.

Replying to the Opposition members, Shivakumar said, "I will clarify all your doubts and am ready to consider your suggestions. We have only simplified the law introduced by the previous BJP government in order to benefit everyone in the State and enhance revenues for local planning authorities. The previous Bommai government was also planning to amend this law."

"This is an existing law, we have just made some amendments. The premium FAR has been in effect in Mangaluru for some time now and additional revenue of 2000-3000 crore has come in the last 5-6 years. The amendment bill extends this to the rest of the state."

BJP MLA Kota Srinivas Poojari, walked out of the House saying, "It is better to hold the Bill and carry out all the discussions. Discuss the Bill and re-table it once again. This Bill will give all the powers to the bureaucrats."

The Legislative Council passed the BBMP Property Tax Amendment Bill 2024 today. The Bill, which halved the penalties on property tax, was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

Speaking after tabling the tax-payer-friendly Amendment Bill, Shivakumar said, "This Bill has already been passed in the Legislative Assembly. This Bill rectifies a mistake of the previous government which resulted in heavy penalties on common people."

"Earlier, property taxpayers with disputes had to approach either the High Court or the Tribunal. This Bill has introduced the Appeal Committee to make it easier for the people to resolve issues without approaching a court," he said.

"The 15th Finance Commission has said grants will be released only if the property tax is in line with the guidance value and hence the government introduced this amendment bill. The property tax in other districts of the State was determined by the guidance value but that was not the case in Bengaluru. We have brought a new amendment without increasing the property tax," he explained.

Lauding the New Bill, Ruling Party MLC Nagaraj Yadav said, "This tax-payer-friendly Bill will increase revenues for the BBMP. This is a pro-development Bill." JDS MLC T A Saravana suggested giving some concessions to people who had wrongly declared their tax liability.

Asked about the guidance value of agricultural and converted land in the City limits by certain MLAs, Mr Shivakumar said, "There is no tax on the agricultural land in the 110 villages coming under the BBMP. Converted lands have a tax of 0.025%. The guidance value is determined by the Revenue department and there is only provision to increase it only by 5%."

During the marathon debate, many of the Opposition members welcomed the amendment bill and suggested some changes.

The Bill was later put to a vote.

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