Maharashtra reduces stamp duty to 2% from Sept 1 to Dec 31

ByHT Correspondents, Mumbai
Aug 27, 2020 10:01 AM IST

The state government on Wednesday said it will reduce stamp duties levied on sales of apartments to 2% from September 1 to December 31 and then hike it slightly to 3% from January 1 to March 31, 2021, among relief measures for various sectors such as real estate, commercial transport and agriculture, fisheries sector, which were hit by the Covid-19 lockdown over the past five months.

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Currently, stamp duty in the state is 5% and 4% in urban and rural areas respectively. This is apart from 1% surcharge in urban areas and 1% zilla parishad cess in rural areas. The state government levies stamp duty on sale, gift and usufructuary — refers to temporary right to derive income from someone else’s property — mortgage of immovable properties.

“We have decided to reduce stamp duty from September 1. It will be applicable till December 31. In this period, people will be charged 2% stamp duty on property transactions. But from January 1, stamp duty will be 3% on all property transactions till March-end 2021,” said a senior official from the state revenue department.

“The move is to boost the real estate sector, considering the ongoing slump following the lockdown imposed to contain Covid-19 spread. It will also bring relief to the common people who wanted to buy their own house,” he added.

CREDAI-MCHI (Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry), a leading builders association, said the decision will offer respite to the real estate sector, which is going through a rough phase.

“The reduced cost of the stamp duty is bound to encourage first-time homebuyers, fence-sitters as well as resale flat buyers to invest in real estate,” said Nayan Shah, President, CREDAI-MCHI.

Similar is the view of Farshid Cooper, MD, Spenta Corporation, who said this move, which comes ahead of the upcoming festive season, will definitely help the sector improve their sales volume.

To give a boost to the transport sector, which has sustained losses owing to the lockdown, the state cabinet on Wednesday decided to waive off road vehicle tax levied on commercial vehicles for six months. This will benefit about 11.40 lakh commercial vehicles with the annual burden of Rs 700 crore on the state exchequer.

“The waiver will be applicable for the period of April to September 30, 2020,,as a bid to offer them relief in the wake of business losses. The commercial vehicles paying annual vehicle taxes can now pay 50% of it,” said transport minister Anil Parab.

Commercial vehicles, including goods carriers, tourism vehicles, vanity vans, private services vehicles, will benefit from the step.

Cabinet also decided to give ex-gratia to fishermen to give them relief from the losses they sustained owing to the cyclones a few months ago. More than 54,000 fishermen are expected to get Rs65.17 crore from the scheme. The ex-gratia ranges between Rs10,000 and Rs3,000 depending on the scale of fishing they are involved in. The amount will be directly credited into the bank accounts of the fisherfolk, said fisheries minister Aslam Shaikh.

State cabinet also decided to extend the ongoing milk-purchasing scheme, under which the excessive milk is purchased from farmers to convert it into skimmed milk powder. State government produced 4,421 metric tonnes powder and 2,320 metric tonnes butter from 5.99 lakh litres of milk it procured between April 6 and July 31. More than 20 lakh litres of milk remain unsold in the state owing to closure of hotels, restaurants, sweet shops and drop in sales of ice creams and other milk products.

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