20 per cent cut in stamp duty on the first purchase conveyance deed of all new flats - Rajmeet Singh

In the face of a long-drawn slump, the booster dose in the form of reduced slabs of external development charges (EDC), change of land use (CLU) and licence fee in the Punjab Budget 2016 has raised hopes of revival among private builders in the state.

With the Assembly election just round the corner, the state government’s move to bring down the EDC, CLU and licence fee for affordable housing projects by 50 per cent and for all new housing sector projects by 25 per cent is bound to give a boost to housing schemes and revive the sector.

Another decision to cut the stamp duty by 20 per cent on the first purchase conveyance deed of all new flats and 15 per cent reduction in collector rates for assessing stamp duty would encourage the buyers. “All such rebates will be passed on to the final buyer,” the Finance Minister, Parminder Dhindsa, said in his budget speech.

The government has already notified affordable housing to low income and middle income classes. The Punjab government has notified Housing for All (Urban) Policy for the benefit of economically weaker sections. It proposes to construct 50,000 affordable houses during 2016-17.

With realty sector being a major revenue generator, developers have for long been critical of the state government for not doing enough to make the sector gain some momentum. Past three years have been one of the worst years in the history of real estate sector in the state with the property transactions virtually coming to a halt due to the harsh policies put in place by the government in recent times.


The government has already extended the period to pay the pending dues by another four months.

Further, the promoters have been given the relaxation of depositing the dues in 24 equated monthly instalments instead of 18 equated monthly instalments.

In an apparent bid to help the recession-hit realty sector, the government has also lifted the ban on then registry of plots by the defaulting promoters during the “relaxation” period. Sources in the housing department said for in the greater mohali area alone, around Rs 160 crore is pending as dues for the projects approved under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Rules, 1995.

The major defaulters include Unitech, Omaxe, TDI and Preet land Developers. Some of the promoters like Emaar MGF have given land to the department in lieu of their pending dues. The relaxations were given following a meeting between the Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Housing Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal and representatives of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI).