In what can be termed as a major relief to the Mumbaikars, the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday categorically stated in the Assembly that the state government is very much favourable towards the demand of waiving property tax for houses with a carpet area of 750 sq.ft in Mumbai. He also made it clear that the new Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai will be given nod by end of this month.
Fadnavis was replying to a debate on various issues related to Mumbai, including the proposed DP of the city. He said, “The government is positive to the demand of waiving property tax. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should send a proposal to this effect to the government. Unlike other civic bodies, BMC's financial condition is good and it can afford to give such concession to the residents”.
“The BMC has sent the draft of the Development Plan to the government on August 2, 2017. The town planning director of the BMC had made some suggestions to the draft and submitted a report on February 2 this year. The statutory period for approving the DP is two-and-a-half years, but the government is expediting the process. The government has set up a scrutiny committee under principal secretary of Urban Development Department,” the CM pointed out.
“The original draft (of DP- 2034) is prepared by the BMC. The planning committee and the general body of the civic body make amendments to the draft. The state government's committee checks whether the amendments have been done as per rules. Any amendments or suggestions can be included in the DP by BMC Commissioner even after it's final approval. One thing I will made clear that there will be no compromise on open spaces in the space-starved city in the new DP. The new Development Plan maps existing Floor Space Index (FSI) levels and population projections till 2034,” he added further.
Fadnavis further stated that gaothans (a portion of the land of a village which is ordinarily used for settlement) koliwadas (fishermen colonies), and tribal padas (hamlets) would be demarcated in the new DP. Throwing more light on this contentious issue, he said, “There will be separate development control regulations (DCRs) for koliwadas, gaothans and tribal padas. The affordable housing would be one of the focus areas of the this DP”.
Stressing the need for 20 lakh houses in the city and suburbs, the CM said that around 10 lakh houses are needed in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). At present, five lakh houses are either under construction or being approved.
“The state government gave Rs 600 crore to the BMC as a compensation this year after Octroi was replaced with GST,” he informed the house.
The demand for exempting the houses with a carpet area of 750 sq ft from paying Property Tax was made last week by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar. According to Shelar, this will benefit 21 lakh houses in the financial capital. Simultaneously, Shiv Sena's Sunil Prabhu had demanded that property tax be waived for houses with a carpet area of 500 sq.ft.