Punjab announces stimulus package to cope with Covid impact

| | Chandigarh
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Punjab announces stimulus package to cope with Covid impact

Saturday, 23 May 2020 | PNS | Chandigarh

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday announced a slew of relief measures for the beleaguered real estate sector amid the unprecedented Covid-19 situation, including six-month extension in permissible period of construction of plots or projects for all allottees, whether private or allotted by state urban authorities, either through auction or draw of lots.

The stimulus package announced by the Chief Minister, applicable to both allottees and developers, is aimed at providing them with immediate relief, while arresting the slowdown in housing sector.

The relief measures are applicable to all the Urban Development Authorities of the state, and shall be restricted to amount due from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

“Notwithstanding huge financial implications for the State Government, we have decided to support the real estate sector, which has suffered major disruptions due to the pandemic. Various representations have been received by the Government on this count,” he said.

Referring to the financial implications of six-month extension in construction period, the Chief Minister pointed out that since development authorities annually receive non-construction fee of nearly Rs 35 crore, this particular relaxation would lead to reduction in receipt to the tune of Rs 17-18 crore for all authorities put together.

In another key relief measure, the Chief Minister announced that all urban development authorities have also been directed not to charge non-construction charges or extension fee or license renewal fee for the period from April 1 to September 30, 2020.

“This would involve a financial implication of more than Rs one crore on the basis of the past averages. As a result of this relief, all licenses under PAPRA and permissions under policy of mega projects would be extended by six months without any charge,” he added.

In another incentive, the Chief Minister has allowed payment of instalments (including interest) of all auctioned properties due between April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, along with balance instalments, as equated instalments at scheme rate of interest. No interest shall be charged on the Instalment due between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, and thereafter, scheme interest will be charged on the amount due.

This particular relief can also be availed for post-dated cheques of amounts deposited against external development charges, license fee or social infrastructure fund etc, under amnesty policy of November 28, 2019, payable up to September 15, 2020, (including those which were due on March 31, 2020).

To promote the concept of green buildings, the Chief Minister also approved increase in incentive in terms of additional FAR of five percent for bronze and silver, 7.5 percent for gold and 10 percent for platinum certification by Griha and Leeds, free of charge.

Capt Amarinder also gave concurrence to the proposal mooted by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to allow phasing in payment of External Development Charges (EDC) as per release of layout plans. However, rate of EDC payable shall be applicable at the time of approval of layout plans.

“Given the criticality and urgency of the situation, the Chief Minister, as chairman of the Development Authorities, has decided to announce immediate relief measures for six months, thus giving time to authorities to come out with comprehensive long-term package,” said the official spokesperson.

Spokesperson added that post-facto approval of all the decisions announced by the Chief Minister would be taken by the concerned authorities at the earliest.

These urgent relief measures are in addition to certain incentives decided by the Housing and Urban Development Ministry, including extension by six months in the moratorium in payment of instalments in case of auctioned properties, said an official spokesperson.

The Ministry has also decided that share of ownership can be transferred by Urban Development Authorities in case of auctioned sites on proportionate payment plus 15 percent, subject to minimum transfer of ownership of 20 percent at one instance.

Permission to sell specific, built-up area marked on the layout plan can be given to developers thereafter, in the same proportion subject to having obtained the occupation certificate for such units.

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