Mumbai The Maharashtra government has stayed hike in ready reckoner rates in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on land including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a month to provide relief to developers struggling with slowdown in the real estate. The decision was taken after representatives of the realty sector requested the government to reconsider the hike. The government has also asked the stamp and registration department to come out with revised rates. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he took the decision to encourage affordable housing projects. He added that for now, the rates will remain unchanged for only lands and not property in Mumbai.Other municipal corporations such as Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwadi-Nizampur, Ulhasnagar, Vasai-Virar and Panvel will also benefit from the move in future, officials said. The state government had in April announced a hike in ready reckoner (RR) rates by 5% to 7%. But on May 19, the decision was put on hold for a month considering the current slump in the sector after demonetisation.The issue was raised by NCP legislator Jayant Patil in the state Assembly when the members were debating bill to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “Municipal corporations charge builders on ready reckoner rates and the hike will have cascading effect on buyers. Since the move may harm affordable housing projects, the government decided to stay the hike for a month,” Fadnavis told the legislators. However, officials from the stamps and registration department said that the decision to stay the RR rates was taken for the entire MMR. Apart from eight municipal corporations, the decision will help builders and buyers from nine municipal councils — Ambernath, Kulgaon-Badlapur, Uran, Alibag, Pan, Matheran, Karjat, Khopoli and Palghar.The officials also said that the decision to put fresh RR rates on hold was taken after the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-CREDAI) requested the state government to take into account the current slump in the reality sector. The government has also asked the stamp and registration department to suggest fresh formula for the RR rates. Until then, RR rates of the last year (2016-17) will continue to be used.The ready reckoner (RR) is a guide published annually by the state government, which determines the rate of land and properties in the particular area, on which stamp duty and registration charges are levied. On April 1, the average RR rates were increased by 3.95% in Mumbai and 3.18% in Thane.