The State government's announcement of a steep increase in guideline value has been met with mixed reactions from real estate mediators and prospective sellers and buyers.
While the general reaction has been on a positive note with views that it will be a step closer to transparency in land transactions and also an increase in the revenue to the State exchequer, others feel that it will hardly be of any significance to the landless and middle class, for whom owning an independent house is nothing but a distant dream.
The impact was visible with the new rates coming into effect from April 1. “Registration is not usually done on ‘Ashtami' (eighth day according to Hindu lunar calendar).
Despite ashtami on Friday, the registrar office in Padappai was flooded,” said K.Subramanian, a real estate dealer.
He added that normally a little more than 50 land registrations would be made every day in the Sub Registrar's office in Padappai, but more than 200 registrations were made on Friday alone, Mr. Subramanian said, pointing out to the rush and sense of urgency of the people to save money before the new regulation comes into effect.
Mr. Balu, a young entrepreneur of M.G.R. Nagar in Selaiyur, said a few banks extended loans to purchase plots with as much as 60 per cent of the guideline value. “So long, there was a huge gap between the guideline value and prevailing market rates. Salaried sections can purchase plots with ease, but for others, problems will continue,” he said.
P. Jothikumar of Irumbuliyur welcomed the move stating that it would flood the government's coffers. “This will improve transparency. Under the table dealings and measures to cover up transactions will come down drastically,” he said. Officials at Sub Registrar's office did not want to be quoted, but said no new land deals were made after the government announcement, but there were several applications for change of name in the ownership of land.
“It is the moral responsibility of any government to provide shelter and housing to the underprivileged and the poor. The increase in guideline value which will result in stamp duty charges will only make things worse for the lower middle class and the poor,” said S. Ramesh of East Tambaram.