The Karnataka State Stamps (Amendment) Bill, 2021, is ready and it will be tabled in the legislative assembly and council in the monsoon session that’s scheduled to begin on September 13, according to officials in the parliamentary affairs department.
“It is among four to five bills that will be introduced. The procedural steps have been completed, and it is expected to be tabled in the early part of the monsoon session,” said G Sridhar, secretary to the department.
A bill envisaging a prisons development board and an amendment to legitimise recording of witnesses through audio and video modes are also lined up.
The cabinet cleared the amendment for the stamp duty reduction last month and chief minister Basavaraj Bommai reportedly asked officials to bring the bill to the House on priority.
The proposal was announced in the 2021-22 budget when BS Yediyurappa was the chief minister. It is a continuation of the government’s policy to support the affordable housing segment. Last year, it had slashed the stamp duty from 5 per cent to 2 per cent on the first-time registration of flats costing less than Rs 20 lakh.
The government later faced criticism as the proposal remained on paper. Many people postponed the registration of new properties till the government notified the new duty structure. An official in the stamps and registration department said that more than 3,500 property buyers were sent back from 252 sub-registrar offices in the April-July period as they wanted the reduced duty to be applicable. Only about 200 went ahead and paid 5 per cent duty.
“However, registrations went up in August as several people who had been waiting for the cut came back. The monthly registrations are at 70 per cent of the pre-Covid level,” said a sub-registrar in Bengaluru.
‘Slash duty for all properties’
Developers and would-be property buyers want a stamp duty cut across the price band, a move the former believe will aid the sector’s recovery. “Builders have been exempted from RERA registration if they are developing affordable housing. But the need of the hour is lower stamp duty for all properties,” said MS Shankar, general secretary, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts.