Chandigarh, September 6
The state government today slashed the collector rates in an effort to give a fillip to the real estate sector. The collector rates in all urban areas of Punjab have been cut down by 5 per cent and in rural areas by 10 per cent, with immediate effect.A notification issued by the Punjab Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Management Department says the reduction in rates is applicable only to the basic land rates and will not apply to the rates for super structure.Sources say the reduction is more in the rural areas because of the sagging rural economy. Besides, the urban real estate sector has already got a boost with 3 per cent reduction in stamp duty.Though the final decision to cut down the collector rates was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today, the seeds were sown in the last Cabinet meeting held earlier last month.The council of ministers was unanimous in their opinion that the collector rate should be reduced, which would propel the sale of property in the state.“The cut in collector rate along with reduction in stamp duty will rationalise the cost of land and the transaction cost in buying property, thus giving a boost to the real estate sector,” said Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Housing, who had been pursuing this and was largely responsible for the decision.Figures available with The Tribune show that there has been a dip in revenue from stamp duty and registration fee. As against Rs 1,000 crore collected under this head till August 31, 2016, the revenue collected this year is around Rs 800 crore. The audited financial results of the state government till July 2017 show that the revenue collected from stamp duty and registration charges was Rs 732.45 crore, against Rs 2,400 crore that Punjab expects to collect by the end of this financial year.One of the major reasons for the fall in this revenue head was delay in bringing an ordinance for reducing stamp duty.Sources in the Revenue Department said the reduction in circle rates (collector rates) would mainly impact sale of property in both rural and urban areas of Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, besides land pockets abutting the GT Road, Chandigarh-Patiala Road and Patiala-Bathinda highway. In some select pockets of Mohali and Ludhiana, the collector rate was higher than the prevailing market rates.“Though the collector rate is to be reviewed by the deputy commissioners in April each year, this year, it was not done by many deputy commissioners. Thus, a decision was taken to cut the rates across rural and urban areas,” said KS Pannu, Secretary, Revenue Department.As a lot of sale purchase in property across Punjab still happens through Power of Attorney (PoA), the government is hopeful that the reduction in collector rate will pave way for the people to move from shortcuts like PoA to get clear property titles registered.