Govt contradicts itself on stamp duty
Despite the state government making it mandatory for builders to sell their properties on the basis of carpet area, the revenue department continues to levy stamp duty on built-up area, as evident in the recent ready reckoner (RR) released by it.
It says the RR rates would be calculated by levying an additional 20% of the carpet area, making it clear that the rates are based on the built-up area.
Taking strong objection to this, the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) said the state was framing rules according to its whims. “We were forced to switch to carpet area saying it was for the benefit of the consumers while the state continues to levy stamp duty on basis of built-up area,” rued Paras Gundecha, president, MCHI.
Similar is the reaction of advocate Vinod Sampat, president, Cooperative societies Residents Users and Welfare Association, who said: “The flat buyers have to shell out extra money just to fill the coffers of the state.”
The carpet area is the actual area of the apartment — which is calculated on basis of wall to wall basis. In contrast, the built-up area includes the walls and balconies in the apartment. The state has been insisting on carpet area rates for buyers as it will allow the buyer to know the exact area of the flat which he can use.
While revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat was not available for comment despite several attempts, officials in his department have defended their action. “Majority of the builders are still continuing selling on the basis of super built-up (this apart from carpet area and built-up also includes open spaces and staircases) and carpet area is mentioned just to fulfill the legal norms,” said the senior official, who does not wish to identify himself. “The buyers continue to sell even parking spaces and charge for the amenities.”
Stamp duty is the second largest revenue source for Maharashtra with the state netting approximately Rs15,000 crore annually.