Owners of illegal buildings have to pay double the tax

The Legislative Assembly on Friday passed the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2020, that allows for imposing double tax in the form of penalty on buildings constructed without permission or in violation of building bylaws.

The Bill is aimed at controlling unauthorised construction of buildings in the jurisdiction of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) by collecting tax and levying penalty equal to property tax on the owners of buildings constructed without permission.

Responding to questions raised by members, Law Minister J.C. Madhuswamy made it clear that the Bill was not aimed at regularising unauthorised construction of buildings, and levying penalty would not be a permanent feature, it would be until demolition or the corporation takes action. The Ministers also said it would increase revenue for the BBMP. The imposition of penalty existed in other city corporations, except in the BBMP, he said.

Rent on OFCs

The Bill also aims at levying fees and annual track rent on cables, including optical fibre cables (OFCs). Minister for Home Basavaraj Bommai said so far there was no clarity on fee fixation while installing OFCs. The law so far provisioned for levying fees or annual track rent. “Now, through this amendment, we have said levying fees and annual track rent, so that after laying fibres, rent should be paid every year for maintenance and other things.”

Dinesh Gundu Rao, H.K. Patil, and Priyank Kharge (all Congress), and Satish Reddy (BJP) welcomed the Bill. Mr. Kharge said the city has more than 75,000 km of OFC network and it was necessary to lay all OFCs underground.

Other Bills passed

The Karnataka State Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was passed in the House. It is aimed at bifurcating Gulbarga University and establishing Raichur University. The new university will cover Raichur and Yadgir districts.

The Assembly also passed the Karnataka Municipalities and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020. It provides the option of NOTA (none of the above) to voters in the ballot papers and EVMs in elections to urban local bodies.

The Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was also passed. It aims to extend the applicability of provisions of the Act to any other area falling within municipal corporation area or areas falling under the BDA or any other urban development authority constituted under the relevant law.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 11:50:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/owners-of-illegal-buildings-have-to-pay-double-the-tax/article31122154.ece

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