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Punjab government relaxes recovery of EDC charges payment from private builders

To boost the growth in real estate sector in Punjab, the state government has extended olive branch to private builders by providing a major relaxation in recovery of outstanding dues running into several crores. On July 11, the government notified an open-ended moratorium policy after getting a nod from the Punjab governor, paving way for developers to set their projects - both residential and commercial - rolling by clearing their outstanding dues in easy installments. There are about 100 colonies licenced under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation (PAPR) Act, 1995, which are stuck due to non-payment of external development charges (EDC) and licence fee to government. As many as 21 colonies registered with Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) alone owe the government over Rs 146 crore. Extending a helping hand to promoters licenced under PAPR Act, the government has decided to release their lay-out\zoning plans on receipt of 20% of the defaulting amount while the remaining 80% amount is to be paid in six quarterly installments starting from two months after release of layout/zoning plan along with postdated cheques for all installments falling due in the period during which the overdue installments are payable. The government will charge interest at the rate of 13% per annum. For registration of project under PAPR Act, promoters have to pay EDC charges at the rate of Rs 27 lakh per acre and licence fee of Rs 3 lakh per acre for residential plotted colony. For group housing, they are charged Rs 87 lakh per acre as EDC and Rs 3.75 lakh per acre as licence fee. In cases where group housing falls in area for which master plan is not notified, the promoter is charged double the rate prescribed for residential plotted development. For commercial projects, Rs 60 lakh per acre is levied as EDC and Rs 41.25 lakh per acre as licence fee. Vini Mahajan, additional chief secretary department of housing and urban development, said relaxation has been given with an aim to boost the growth of the real estate sector and promote licenced development. However, the builders are little impressed with the policy and demand that the government should come up with financial incentives on the pattern of central government. Gulshan Kumar, vice-president of Punjab Colonizers and Dealers Association, said the policy will be of little help. He said the government should give rebate or waive off charges on EDC so that housing can become affordable for common.
Source: ET Realty

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