Maharashtra positive about property tax waiver demand for 750 sq ft houses: Devendra Fadnavis

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is “positive” to the demand of waiving property tax for houses with a carpet area of 750 sq.ft in Mumbai, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Legislative Assembly today.

Fadnavis also said the new Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai would be approved this month itself.

He said there would be no compromise on open spaces in the space-starved city in the DP.

The new Development Plan maps existing FSI (Floor Speace Index) levels and population projections till 2034.

“The government is positive to this demand (of waiving property tax). The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should send a proposal to this effect to the government. Unlike other civic bodies, BMC’s finances are good and it can afford to give such concession to the residents,” said the chief minister.

The chief minister was replying to a debate on various issues related to Mumbai including the proposed DP of the city.

The demand for exempting the houses with a carpet area of 750 sq ft from paying Property Tax was made last week by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, which he said would benefit 21 lakh houses in the financial capital.

Simultaneously, Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu had demanded that property tax be waived for houses with a carpet area of 500 sq.ft.

Fadnavis said his government gave Rs 600 crore to the BMC as a compensation this year after Octroi was replaced with GST.

“The BMC sent the draft of the Development Plan to the government on August 2, 2017,” said the chief minister.

He said Town Planning director of the BMC had made some suggestions to the draft and submitted a report on February 2 this year.

“The statutory period for approving the DP is two-and-a-half years, but the government is expediting the process. The government has set up a scrutiny committee under principal secretary of Urban Development Department.

“The original draft (of DP- 2034) is prepared by the BMC. The planning committee and the general body of the civic body make amendments to the draft. The state government’s committee checks whether the amendments have been done as per rules,” said Fadnavis.

He said any amendments or suggestions can be included in the DP by BMC commissioner even after it was approved.

Fadnavis said gaothans (a portion of the land of a village which is ordinarily used for settlement) koliwadas (fishermen colonies), and tribal padas (hamlets) would be demarcated in the new DP for Mumbai.

“There will be separate development control regulations (DCRs) for koliwadas, gaothans and tribal padas,” he said, adding that affordable housing would be one of the focus areas of the DP.

Underlining the need for 20 lakh houses in the city and suburbs, Fadnavis said around 10 lakh houses are needed in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

At present, five lakh houses are either under construction or being approved, he said.