Home buyers in Kolkata fret as software glitch holds up registration
KOLKATA: Nearly two weeks after the state budget announcement of 2% reduction in stamp duty and 10% slash in circle rates for properties registered by October 30, new home buyers have been unable to take advantage of the twin concessions due to a glitch in the registration software.
The worst hit are those who had sealed the deals and were planning to move into the new apartments by this month after a house warming ceremony or ‘griha pravesh’. According to the Hindu almanac, Tuesday was the last auspicious day to take possession of a new home with no dates available in the next three months.
With the scheme offering a saving of nearly Rs 1.25 lakh on a flat purchased for Rs 50 lakh available till only October 30, home buyers and developers are worried about the time lost in rectifying the system.
“Since this is a limited period scheme, the government should either extend the time limit or the RA offices in Kolkata and other parts of the state should function for longer hours to compensate for the loss,” said Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai) Bengal chapter president Nandu Belani.
While 50 new properties are usually registered at the four offices of Assistant Registrars of Assurances (ARAs) in Kolkata daily, the snag has left 650 buyers waiting on the sidelines. “The numbers could actually be 40% more as the incentives were expected to trigger a boost in sales and registrations,” said a realtor.
Inspector general of registration T Balasubramanian said IT experts were working to rectify the error and hoped the system would be up and running in a couple of days.
“The registration of queries that had already been raised is continuing. But no new queries are being generated due to the glitch that occurred after the new rates were fed into the system and a trial was carried out the day after the budget,” he told TOI.
The IGR assured that the offices would function for either additional hours or on Sundays to give home buyers adequate time to register their properties and take advantage of the incentive.
“In a couple of days, we will also issue guidelines for sale deed registration and how much concession will be applicable at the time,” said Balasubramanian.
At present, 2% stamp duty has to be paid at the time of registering the sale deed and the remaining 4% for properties priced below Rs 1 crore and 5% for the properties above Rs 1 crore to be paid during the transfer of title or conveyance.
According to sources, the government is likely to allow home buyers to take advantage of the 2% discount if they pay the remaining 4%-5% at the time of registering the sale deed.