BBMP to bring back uniform levy on sites

BBMP to bring back uniform levy on sites

BBMP to bring back uniform levy on sites

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) will reintroduce in September uniform betterment charges for revenue sites regularised by the Deputy Commissioner (DC).

The move follows a reprimand to the Palike by the High Court for fixing differential rates for sites of varying dimensions.

To revitalise its coffers with additional revenue and to ease the plight of land owners who bought DC converted revenue sites, the Palike has decided to slash the rates and introduce an uniform rate.

“We are forced to bring down the improvement charges after the HC directions for setting reasonable rates. We are currently resigned to the fact that a uniform rate may have to be applied,” said Muneendra Kumar, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance (T&F).

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the corporator from Jakkur said the uniform rates will help BBMP to realise revenue that has been currently stalled by the Court order. “The process is underway and a final call on the rates will be taken by the end of this week. We will be convening a meeting with the mayor and the BBMP commissioner to decide on the exact rate,” he said. The T&F committee chairman was confident that the rates will be placed before the BBMP Council by the end of this month.

Two years ago, the BBMP reintroduced betterment charges, with differential rates, a move that was stayed by the High Court after citizens complained that the charges were “unscientific.”

The previous rates were fixed at Rs 150 per sq mtr for 30x40 sites, Rs 200 per sq mtr for 40x60 sites and Rs 300 for those sites in excess of 60x40 dimension.

Now, the Palike will charge equitable rates for all DC converted revenue site owners. “In Byatarayanapura alone, the BBMP is expected to raise Rs 150 crore. With the core areas not likely to generate enough revenue through the betterment charges, the tax will help those in the outlying regions and newly-added areas,” said Kumar. The Palike is hoping to accrue close to Rs 1,000 crore through betterment charges.