Plea to defer collection of metro cess

Pune: The realtors’ organisations have urged the state government to not charge the 1% metro cess for property purchases immediately, citing that the realty sector was just beginning to look up in the past two to three months.

Citizens’ groups also sought deferment of levying the cess. Chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA) Ramesh Prabhu told TOI that they would be writing to the government to delay the implementation of metro cess as it would impact the buying process.

“The realty sector is slowly inching towards pre-pandemic times with registrations picking up in all sectors. The government should not suddenly think of implementing the cess, which will impact the consumers. Cities like Mumbai, Pune and Thane see the maximum registrations and the realty sector in these cities would definitely be affected,” said Prabhu. Metro cess is a transport surcharge supposed to be levied in metro cities Mumbai, Pune Nagpur and Thane. It will be 1% of the property value. The revenue earned through it is intended to be used for funding transport infrastructure projects in the metro cities. The urban development department had issued a GR (government resolution) on metro cess about two years ago. But the state government restricted its imposition till March 31 because of the pandemic.

If the metro cess comes into effect from April 1, the stamp duty on property transactions in Mumbai would go up to 6% from the current 5%. In Pune, Nagpur, and Thane, it would be up to 7% from 6% at present. The metro cess would come into force if no new GR was issued, said property registration officials. “As of now, the earlier order stands. If there is anything to be reconsidered by the government, an order must be issued ahead of March 31,” said an official.

Developers’ bodies have approached the state government to reconsider the implementation of metro cess, fearing that additional stamp duty would slow down the bookings. Credai national vice-president Shantilal Kataria told TOI that when 2-3% concession was given in stamp duty last year, the state government benefited from the revenue collection surge. “The government should suspend the implementation of metro cess. If it does not, it will reflect on revenue collections because the highest revenue generating cities are Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai,” he said.


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