Maharashtra: Have an empty house? You may have to pay double tax
If you own a house and it is unoccupied, you may soon have to pay a new tax—the vacant apartment tax— which will be double the amount levied on the property at present.
The proposal in the state government’s draft Maharashtra State Housing Policy aims to tackle the rental housing problem in Maharashtra.
This move will open up approximately 4.79 lakh houses in Mumbai in the rental market.
The draft document states, “In order that the vacant flats and plots are put to use, there should be double taxation… This will deter the tendency to maintain the plot and the flat vacant for speculative gains.”
Real estate experts welcomed the move. “We talk of housing shortage, but the number of vacant houses are increasing by the day. The move is necessary,” said Pankaj Kapoor, CEO, Liases Foras, a real estate research firm. “With an increase in number of houses in the market, the high rentals will be moderated.”
Yeshwant Dalal, president, Estate Agents Association of India, said, “Most of the vacant houses are owned by investors who have purchased for speculative gains.”
According to Dalal, keeping such flats will no longer be lucrative, as the owners will have to shell out a lot of money.
Senior officials from the housing department said the additional tax will encourage rental housing scheme, which is practised widely across other countries. “Also, it will increase the revenue of the exchequer,” said an official, requesting anonymity.
With real estate prices reaching the sky, several homebuyers have postponed their purchase plans and switched to rental housing. However, because of limited supply, these people have to shell out high rentals.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.