Maharashtra government plans 50% cut in lease rates for housing societies
The state government has decided to reduce the annual lease rent by half for cooperative housing societies situated on government-owned plots in Mumbai. This will also be applicable to individuals holding government plots of not more than 500 square metres, being used for residential purposes.
Additionally, the annual lease of government plots being given for social, cultural, charitable and religious purposes will be reduced by more than half from the existing rates. However, according to the state cabinet decision which was taken on Tuesday, lease rates of plots being used for commercial and industrial remain the same.
The decision is significant in view of pending litigations against revised lease land policy for government plots adopted by the state in December 2012. “The state government has revised its policy for lease lands in Mumbai. It has now decided to reduce annual rates for government plots to 1% of 25% of the market price for leased out plots to cooperative housing societies (CHS) and individuals having not more than 500 square metres plot for residential purpose,” said a senior officer from the state revenue department.
For government plots leased out for social, cultural, charitable and religious purposes, the lessee will have to pay annual lease 0.5% of the 25% market price of the property, he said.
By introducing the lease land policy in December 2012, the government had hiked the annual lease to 2% of 25% of the market price for plots leased out for residential and charitable purposes, which got challenged in the Bombay high court through various litigations. Consequently, the policy could not be implemented effectively.
Ramesh Prabhu, housing activist said that the lease rates are still very high. “First you (state government) increase the lease exorbitantly and after litigations reduce it to half which is not less at all. The government has already recovered the original cost of the plot from the lessee. As there was no policy for giving plots on ownership basis, they were allotted on nominal lease which the government now wants to change considering market price of the plot,” Prabhu said.