Delhi

Centre to give property rights in Delhi colonies

Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri (left) Ravi Shankar Prasad (centre) and Prakash Javadekar during a press conference on Cabinet decisions in New Delhi October 23, 2019.

Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri (left) Ravi Shankar Prasad (centre) and Prakash Javadekar during a press conference on Cabinet decisions in New Delhi October 23, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri says number of beneficiaries could be about 50 lakh; decision comes ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections.

Addressing a long-pending demand of residents of Delhi’s unauthorised colonies, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to grant ownership and transfer rights for properties in 1,797 colonies that had been identified in 2014.

The decision comes ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections.

Announcing the decision at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said about 40 lakh people would benefit from the decision. Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, however, said that the number of beneficiaries could be about 50 lakh.

Apart from the right to buy and sell these properties, people would be able to get loans on them and the government could carry out development work in these colonies. Mr. Puri added that a “nominal” amount would be charged — 0.5% of the circle rate for properties on government land and less than 100 square metres in size, 1% for those measuring 100-250 square metres, and 2.5% for properties of size exceeding 250 square metres.

“For colonies on private land, the charge will be half of the charge on government land,” the government said in a statement.

Mr. Puri said 66 “affluent colonies” that had been identified earlier and three other colonies added subsequently have been left out. He said these colonies would be taken up later.

The Centre would also bring a Bill in the coming session of Parliament to facilitate the grant of these rights, he said. It would allow for recognising general powers of attorney, wills, agreements to sell, purchase and possession documents and would provide for stamp duty being charged on the last transaction alone. It would also address the issue of income tax liability.

Referring to the delay in granting these rights, Mr. Puri said it had been pending with the Delhi government since 2008. The Delhi government was working on carrying out the survey of these colonies.

“I have made many attempts to encourage the Delhi Chief Minister to identify the colonies and take this forward,” the minister said, adding “the Delhi government asked for time till 2021 to carry out the exercise of delineation of boundaries of the colonies; so we decided that the Central government will take the initiative.”

Asked about the timing of the move given that the Delhi Assembly elections are expected soon, Mr. Puri said “people may say this is political, but many elections came and went in the past 11 years”.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:11:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/centre-to-give-property-rights-in-delhi-colonies/article29780635.ece

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