Govt may hike guidance value, stamp duty

The State government is likely to hike the guidance value across the State as well as stamp and registration duties to fund the numerous populist schemes it has announced in the recent weeks.

Revenue Minister V Sreenivas Prasad told presspersons here on Monday that the government is looking at these two avenues to fill the state coffers which currently cannot afford such heavy expenditure.

 “The government has already announced certain schemes such as providing rice at Re one a kg, which will cost the exchequer not less than Rs 4,042 crore per year. There are other schemes such as loan waiver and increase in the subsidy for construction of houses under various schemes. All these require money, and for this we have to look at available options,” he said.

The government will increase the guidance values across Karnataka and also contemplate on increasing the stamp and registration duties.

“These two options have always provided us good receipts. We will discuss the matter with commissioners and revenue officials at a meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday,” he said.

However, what has gone unnoticed is the fact that the State cannot increase the stamp and registration duty from the current rate, which is five per cent of the property value, if they intend to avail funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). “The JnNURM recognises the adverse effects of high stamp duty rates. It requires the states to reduce the rates to five per cent or less (including the surcharge that civic bodies levy in several states). It expects that a reduction in the rate will help develop a healthy real estate market, provide fillip to the growth of the economy and reduce the size of black money.”
The previous BJP government had reduced the stamp and registration duties from eight per cent to five per cent.

No land auction

Prasad said the Revenue department will henceforth ensure that revenue lands will not be auctioned to generate revenue. The department will fence these properties and protect them from encroachments. A meeting has been scheduled for discussing the encroachment issues with non-governmental organisations such as Samaja Parivartana Samudaya.

“We will also examine the A T Ramaswamy and V Balasubramniam reports to tackle the encroachment problem,” he said.

The department has already sent a circular to all the deputy commissioners instructing them not to evict villagers who are residing on C and D category lands, handed over to the Forest department for afforestation programmes.

Pension scheme

The State government is also looking at expanding the monthly pension scheme of Rs 500 for incorporating those women who are unmarried and above the age of 40 years.

“We are also trying to convince the chief minister to extend the scheme to divorcee women, who have little economic opportunities in rural areas,” the minister said.
These schemes will only cover the women who are from below poverty line families. The Revenue department is contemplating providing civic amenities to hamlets notwithstanding their status as revenue villages.

‘Atalji name will continue’

Revenue Minister V Sreenivas Prasad said that there will be no change in the name of Nemmadi Kendras, which were renamed as Atalji Janasnehi Kendras by the previous BJP government. “There are a few tall leaders, cutting across party lines, who have contributed to the country’s growth. Frankly speaking, I was also a minister at the Centre in the government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We will not change the new name given to the Nemmadi Kendras by the previous government,” he said. There is a proposal to increase the number of Atalji Janasnehi Kendras in the state from 800 to 4,000, the minister added.

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