Demonetisation-hit Bangalore Realty Sector gets no balm in the Budget

BANGALORE: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has not proposed any measures to boost the realty sector in his 2017-18 budget, though demonetisation of high-value notes has hit the sector hard.

Document registration, including sale deeds and agreement deeds, has come down by 25% from November last year, when the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Revenue from the stamps registration department has, as a result, decreased by Rs 1,350 crore. The government had fixed a Rs 9,100-crore target in the current financial year.

The sluggishness in the sector is likely to continue in the coming financial year also. Hence, the chief minister has set a moderate revenue target of Rs 9,000 crore from the department in the coming fiscal year.

Various associations of real estate companies had urged the chief minister to bail out the sector. They had asked the government to reduce stamp duty on registration of immovable properties, joint development agreements, affordable housing units to help the sector overcome sluggishness.

Siddaramaiah has, however, proposed to amend the Karnataka Stamp Act, 1957 to rationalise imposition of stamp duty on purchase and sale of stocks through agents or brokers.

The chief minister severely criticised the Centre on demonetisation in his budget speech. “Demonetisation caused a huge amount of distress to the public but the Union government is yet to disclose what it has achieved by it. The entire cooperative sector that is so critical in servicing the farmers and the rural folk, virtually came to a stand still. The manner of implementation betrayed a lack of preparedness, with the banking system just not geared up for this responsibility given to them (sic),” he stated.

The Centre and the Reserve Bank of India should have foreseen the exigencies and should have taken appropriate steps to insulate the common man from its effects, he added

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