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.
Based on the directions of the state government, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to introduce the capital value system (CVS) for computing the Annual Rateable Value of a property, for fixing the property taxes in the city. The civic administration has tabled a proposal before the standing committee regarding the move.
The move has been designed to bring uniformity in the taxation system in all the municipal corporations across the state. As a result, if the proposal is cleared, the property tax charges might go up.
At present, the ARV is fixed on the standard rents fixed by the Rent Control Act. Under the ARV system, the probable gross rent of a property is taken into account. For domestic buildings, 20 percent of the amount is calculated. For commercial buildings 25 percent of the amount is calculated.
Under the new CVS, the calculation of tax is based on the value of the land as well as that of the building. It takes into account the capital value of the building, which is in turn based on the cost of the land as well as the cost of the building, net of depreciation.
The proposal says: “In different municipal corporations in the state, there are different methods of fixing the ARV of a particular property. But, in order to bring uniformity, transparency and introduce simplicity, the new method of CVS is being considered.” The ARV fixed under the capital value system, will be updated every five years.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is the first civic body in the state to come up with a decision under which buyers of residential apartments get free parking space.
On June 11, 2009, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) declared that no building permission plans will be sanctioned if the builders refuse to provide free parking space to apartment buyers across the twin industrial township.
This was after a series of reports in Pune Newsline, highlighting the Bombay High Court which had ruled that builders cannot sell parking space and that it should be made available to the flat buyers free of cost.
PUNE: New constructions that have come up in villages situated in the 10 kilometre periphery of the Pimpri-Chinchwad township have collectively paid Rs 60 lakh in the last three months for obtaining a No Objection Certificate from the fire brigade.
Kiran Gawde, chief fire officer of PCMC, said the money was charged in accordance with the state government notification issued in May this year to ensure planned development in areas surrounding the Pimpri-Chinchwad township. So far NOCs have been issued to 20 new constructions in 77 villages of Khed and Maval talukas. Earlier, A similar notification was issued to villages lying close to the Pune Municipal Corporation limits.
Uday Wankhede, deputy chief fire officer of PCMC fire brigade said, “Developers of 20 new constructions had applied to obtain the NOC. Most of them were for residential use while others were for hotels and hospitals.”
PUNE: Consumer activists and members of housing societies have welcomed the government’s recent intention to implement the three-year old amendment to the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act 1963.
The amendment makes it mandatory for builders to transfer ownership of land to the respective society, in the form of a conveyance deed. The penalty for errant builders, as per the new amendment, could go upto a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 50,000.
Considering the fact that a sizable number of the 30,000-odd housing societies in Pune lack a conveyance deed, citizens say the implementation comes not a moment too soon.
PUNE: Shooting down the Congress party’s proposal to amend the property tax rules to introduce a one-time (optional) tax payment scheme, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration has stated that the proposal is unfeasible and will result in decline of the civic income from property tax collection.
“If at all the one-time tax plan is executed, the PMC cannot make it compulsory. Also, the civic body will face financial losses as if property owners pay tax for one-time as the PMC will not be able re-assess the property. Small properties could pay one-time tax, but big properties like malls, IT properties, banks, hospitals, hotels, etc will not show interest in the scheme considering the amount they will have to pay,” said municipal commissioner in his comments submitted to all party leader’s meeting.
The administration has stated that the proposal is not feasible as it will deprive the PMC from re-assessing the property and considering the rising property rates in the city, it will result in the financial loss to the civic body.
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On March 31 this year, thousands of residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad had lined up at four divisional offices of the municipal corporation to pay their water bills and property tax bills. The PCMC was forced to extend the deadline in view of the serpentine queues that created chaos and unruly scenes.
Such endless queues at PCMC offices have now become a thing of the past. The PCMC has started Pay Points, a concept popular in the city of London. Pay Points are like ATM centres where residents can pay their property bills and water tax bills using their swipe cards.
The idea is the brainchild of Municipal Commissioner, Asheesh Sharma, who had had a first account experience of the Pay Point System earlier this year in London. On August 20, the PCMC inaugurated as many as five points — four at divisional offices and the fifth one at its headquarters in Pimpri.
Along with Pay Points, the PCMC has also started online issue of death and birth certificates. The earlier system of coming to PCMC headquarters, filing an application and waiting for a few days to get the certificates have been done away with. Now just go online, make payment and get your certificate in a jiffy.
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The Hinjewadi sub-registrar’s office became the first office in the state to roll out the online property registration programme, wherein property buyers could access their mutation entry online. With 64 online registrations in the pilot project, the land records department is planning to replicate the process across the entire state.
Settlement commissioner and director of land records, Dr Shailesh Kumar Sharma, said that the online mutation entry started on July 23 and in a month’s time they have received an overwhelming response.
The idea behind developing such a system was to ensure better transparency and accountability. The system monitors each officer closely and they will be assessed on the time taken for issuing the notices and updating the records. The software has been provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
The Hinjewadi and Paud offices that fall under the Mulshi taluka were covered in the trial run. The online mutation entry programme will enable property buyers to take a printout of their registration details, 7/12 extracts and property cards even from home, said the official.
The trial run saw the documents registered at the sub-registrar office forwarded to the tehsildar office where the officer receives an SMS mentioning the registration number. The notice has to be issued the moment they get the document.
Within 15 days the document gets uploaded provided there is no dispute. In case of disputed property, the entry goes into the dispute register to be cleared within three months. If there is no dispute, the buyer can get to see the registration details uploaded on http://mahabhulekh.mumbai.nic within fifteen days.
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On Information Technology Day, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) inaugurated five Pay Points to pay property tax and water bills.
“Later, people will also be able to pay electricity bills and telephone bills at the Pay Points. More such Points will soon come up across the town,” Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said.
The PCMC is also issuing birth and death certificates online. It also started the Centralised Grievance Redress Cell for receiving complaints about civic inadequacies from citizens.
An initiative of the civic chief, the Pay Points have been styled on the ones in London. C-DAC executive director Hemant Darbari inaugurated the facility. Mayor Yogesh Behl was also present on the occasion.
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PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) has decided to lodge criminal cases against those encroaching on its land. The action is primarily aimed at building contractors.
Suhas Divse, chief executive officer of the PCNTDA, said the authority will demolish such constructions and the cost for such action will be recovered from encroachers.
Notices have already been sent to 22 property owners, who have illegally built structures after August 1, 2009. “We will give them time to wind up, but if they fail to do so, the PCNTDA will remove them. So far, very few cases have been registered. But now onwards we will lodge criminal cases against all such people,” Divse said.
A joint drive will soon be initiated with help from the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Divse said the PCNTDA is planning to strengthen its anti-encroachment squad. “At present, there are 50 guards in the squad. We will hire 50 more. Two engineers on deputation have been attached to the squad. A deputy collector level official will head the squad,” he said.
The PCNTDA was constituted by the state to provide affordable housing to industrial workers and the poor. For the purpose, land was acquired from 10 villages namely Nigdi, Bhosari, Chikhli, Akurdi, Ravet, Kalewadi, Chinchwad, Thergaon, Rahatni and Wakad.
The state was to acquire 4,323 hectare of land, but the PCNTDA has only 1,627 hectare in its possession. It did not take quick possession of land in villages of Chinchwad, Kalewadi, Thergaon, Rahatni and Wakad. As a result, farmers sold off their land to migrant workers who have constructed their houses on it.
Authorities say nearly 15,000 such constructions have been identified. “We have sent a proposal to regularise all unauthorised constructions made on PCNTDA land before August 1, 2009. The state government has to take a decision on it,” he said.
Incidentally, owners of houses in Yamunanagar area of Nigdi-Pradhikaran have extended their buildings on open spaces.
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