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BBMP to restart sanctioning plan approvals in a few days

Rate of ground rent, licence fee and other charges to be same as that notified in Sept. 2015

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) that had stopped approving building plans or levying any charges or fees since early August is likely to resume the process next week. Last week, the civic body had issued a circular notifying the rates to be charged for the sanction of building plan approval, occupancy and completion certificates as well as ground rent, licence fees, scrutiny fees, and security deposit.

According to highly placed sources, the BBMP has decided to retain the rates that were notified in September 2015. Sources said that in all likelihood, the sanction of plan approvals would begin on Monday.

The civic body had stopped building plan-related activities after the High Court of Karnataka declared that the bylaws under which the various fees and charges were levied were “unenforceable” and contrary to the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. The development had a bearing on not just the construction activity in the city, but also larger legal and financial implications for the BBMP.

However, in November, an Ordinance was promulgated for the amendment of the KMC Act, and the BBMP Act, 2020. This allowed the BBMP to levy the various charges and fees. It effectively safeguarded the BBMP from refunding around ₹2,000 crore fees and charges to landowners, real estate developers, and others.

The civic chief had written to the Urban Development Department (UDD) earlier this month seeking fixation of the rates for the various fees and charges. However, the UDD maintained that the Chief Commissioner, in the new amendment to both the KMC Act and the BBMP Act, had been empowered to fix the rates for levy of fees or penalty related to the issue and execution of the approval as he may deem fit. That apart, the fees shall be based on the guidance value fixed by the Department of Stamps and Registration under the provisions of the Karnataka Stamp Act, 1957.

The decision to fix the rates that were notified in September 2015 was taken after the UDD’s response to the BBMP’s request, said sources.

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