Flat Registration Offices To Be Linked To Curb Scams

At a time when property registration frauds are becoming increasingly commonplace, the state government has decided to interlink all sub-registrars’ offices. The move will curb instances of a single flat or a property being registered in names of multiple buyers. Once the offices are connected, registration officials will be able to verify if a sale deed has been registered at any other sub-registrar’s office on an earlier occasion.

At present, property transactions in Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nagpur can be registered at any of the sub-registrars’ offices located in each district. This means that even if your house is in Bandra, you can get it registered, say, at the Borivli sub-registrar’s office. However, there’s a flaw in this system. As the sub-registrars’ offices are not interlinked, officials have no way of ascertaining if the same flat or property has been registered elsewhere.

Unscrupulous minds have been exploiting this very lack of coordination and instances of a single flat being registered in the names of multiple buyers have surfaced. In the absence of a common database on property registrations, many citizens had to run from pillar to post to get their home loans approved as banking officials found it hard to get correct details during the verification process.

The issue was recently raised in a meeting called to discuss how to better disbursement of home loans. The meeting, held in Mantralaya, was chaired by chief secretary J P Dange. During the meeting, housing secretary Sitaram Kunte pointed out that there has been a sharp rise in property registration frauds. “Taking cognizance of the issue raised by Kunte, Dange directed the officials concerned to rectify the registration system at the earliest to prevent recurrence of such scams,” a senior Mantralaya official said.

Collections from registration and stamp duty have witnessed a four-fold hike in the last decade. The government earned Rs 2,200 crore during the financial year 2000-01, while the figure shot up to Rs 9,600 crore in 2009-10.

Pune Property Tax Defaulters To Face 2% Monthly Fine

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to execute the state government’s notification to impose a two per cent penalty on people who fail to pay their property tax for the first six months of the year 2010-11 before September 30.

The government notification of May 31, 2010, has authorised the civic body to impose a fine of two per cent on the tax amount for every defaulting month if the property tax is not paid within a given period of time. The second instalment of the property tax has to be paid before December 31, 2010.

In the last two years, the PMC has brought nearly 80,000 properties under its tax net. However, an estimated 45,000 properties still remain out of its reach. The standing committee has repeatedly told the administration to make an effort to widen its tax net. Once the unassessed properties are covered, the civic body is expected to get an additional revenue of Rs 100 crore to 150 crore.

The PMC’s tax collection and assessment department has already submitted a plan regarding this to the standing committee. After octroi, property tax is a major source of revenue for the PMC. The department has proposed that digital pictures of all properties be taken for records and an aluminium plate be fixed on each property, identifying its survey number and other details.

Meanwhile, in order to improve collection of property tax, the civic administration has proposed that zone-wise agencies be appointed to assess properties and bring unassessed properties under the tax net.