Punjab CM announces stimulus package to cope with COVID-19 impact

4 days ago

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday, announced a slew of relief measures for the beleaguered real-estate sector amid the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.

Captain Amarinder Singh has announced a six-month extension in the permissible period of construction of plots/projects for all allottees, whether private or allotted by state urban authorities, either through auction or draw of lots, a press statement issued by the government said.

The stimulus package announced by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, 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.

Captain Amarinder Singh said notwithstanding the huge financial implications for his government, it had decided to support the real-estate sector, which had suffered major disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Various representations had been received by the government on this count, he added.

Referring to the financial implications of the 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 to 18 crore for all authorities put together.

In another key relief measure, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that all urban development authorities had also been directed not to charge non-construction charges/extension fee/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 the PAPRA and permissions under the policy of Mega Projects would be extended by six months without any charge.

In another incentive, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has allowed payment of instalments (including interest) of all auctioned properties due between April 1, 2020 to September30, 2020, along with balance instalments, as equated instalments at scheme rate of the 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, the press statement issued by the government further said.

This particular relief can also be availed for post-dated cheques of amounts deposited against external development charges/license fee/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 the incentive in terms of additional FAR of 5 per cent for bronze and silver, 7.5 per cent for gold and 10 per cent for platinum certification by Griha and Leeds, free of charge.

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

According to an official spokesperson, given the criticality and urgency of the situation, the Chief Minister, as Chairman of the Development Authorities, had decided to announce immediate relief measures for six months, thus giving time to the authorities to come out with comprehensive long-term package. 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 were 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, an official spokesperson said.

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

Further, the staircase in case of 2 clubbed SCOs can be minimum 4 feet wide in case of lift if provided, as per the decision of the Ministry, which has also agreed to take the definition of Atrium as provided in NBC.

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