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States should consider reducing stamp duty to boost housing sales: Housing Secretary

States should consider reducing stamp duty to boost housing sales: Housing Secretary

NEW DELHI: Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra on Friday asked states to reduce stamp duty on registration of properties, saying their revenues will not be impacted due to sales boost.

Addressing a virtual conference organised by industry body Assocham, Mishra said the ministry had twice written to the states/UTs to reduce stamp duty.

He said the Maharashtra and Karnataka governments have reduced stamp duty that has led to rise in housing sales.

Mishra said he will again hold a video conference with chief secretaries of all states/UTs and try to convince them for reduction in the stamp duty.

He said that overall revenue of states will not be affected as number of sales will increase.

The secretary said housing sales have revived in the last few months because of measures taken by the Centre as well as stamp duty cut by some states.

Mishra said builders have started taking advantage of recent tax relief announced by the government. This will help increase housing sales and clear unsold stocks.

Recently, the government relaxed income tax rules to allow primary or first sale of housing units of up to Rs 2 crore at a price that can be 20 per cent below the stamp duty circle rate. Earlier, the law restricted differential between circle rate and agreement value at 10 per cent.

Mishra said the government’s Affordable Rental Housing Complex (ARHC) Scheme for migrants, which was launched a few months ago, has picked up well.

He asked Assocham members to participate in this programme to build small homes with all basic amenities, which can be given to people on cheaper rents.

Mishra said the Indian real estate sector not only contributes in the country’s GDP but is also a major employment generator.

He emphasised on use of modern technologies for faster completion of construction works.

The secretary said there has been a housing revolution in the last six years as development of over one crore homes under the Prime Minister Aawas Yojana (PMAY) is being undertaken.

He expressed confidence that the objective of ‘Housing for All‘ will be achieved by 2022.

Mishra asked the industry to send its suggestions for the growth of the real estate sector and assured that he would look into those recommendations positively.

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