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A sub-committee of ministers has suggested no hike in the RR rates in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) this year and the apex body of builders wants the same policy across the state to boost the ailing real estate sector.

Ready Reckoner (RR) rates are assessments of property values by the state government, on the basis of which stamp duty and registration charges are paid. The government usually revises the rates every year on April 1.

The state government had appointed the sub-committee under the chairmanship of revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, housing minister Prakash Mehta and health minister Deepak Sawant. The panel, according to sources in the government, recommended continuation of the 2015-16 rates in MMR. The recommendations are with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Ahead of the next RR rate announcement on April 1, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India’s (Credai) Maharashtra chapter has written to the CM, urging the government to follow the panel’s recommendations for the entire state.

“The rates were hiked last year for MMR and rolled back to the 2015-16 rates,” the source said, adding that high rates could not be announced for the rest of the state if there’s no hike in MMR and Mumbai.

Credai-Maharashtra president Shantilal Kataria said the sector was going through a difficult time and lakhs of homes were lying vacant in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. He said, “The government should think about the sector and not just about revenue collection. We have send our requests to the chief minister and revenue minister and are awaiting a positive response.”

Credai stated that housing rates were not affordable and the buyers were being burdened with higher stamp duty calculated on the basis of the RR rates and GST. “The ongoing year has seen a 1% rise in stamp duty in rural and effective areas, generating enough revenue ,” Kataria said.

In 2017, home buyers had to pay GST (12%) along with the stamp duty. Earlier, they had to pay service tax of 5.5%.

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