Sharath S. Srivatsa

BANGALORE: Buying a property and worried about its genuineness? Your worries could be solved through the Title Insurance Policy announced in the budget, which would help the buyer to ascertain the genuineness of the property.

An insurance company recognised by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) would issue the title insurance. It would be issued to the property after making a thorough verification of the documents, market survey and other details about it. An option given for property buyers, the Government has also announced a concession of 0.5 per cent on Conveyance Deeds that are backed by valid Title Insurance. The 2006-2007 budget had promised to develop a methodology to guaranty title (title insurance) to the property, and it has been announced in this budget.

According to sources in the Stamps and Registration Department, the policy while ensuring that buyers do not fall victims in unscrupulous property deals is also likely to increase revenue for the Government. "Once the insurance agency is involved in the assessment of property, we will get the correct value, which would eventually lead to increased collection through stamp duty and registration fee," sources said.

Definition of family

Another positive development is that the definition of family in Article 28 of the Karnataka Stamp Act has been widened to include brothers and sisters. Hitherto, only husband, wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law and grandchildren were defined as family, for transfer of property through the execution of gift deeds. Now, with the changed definition, gift deeds could be executed between brothers and sisters by paying a nominal fee of Rs. 1,000, excluding the additional duty and surcharge, which would be a maximum of Rs. 170.

Several changes had been proposed to the Karnataka Stamp Act that would increase revenue for the Government by preventing evasion of stamp duty, the sources said.

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