Discretionary powers of registering officers to be removed to streamline stamp duty collection
The State government has decided to reduce discrepancies in the collection of stamp duty charges by removing discretionary powers of the officials concerned.
The Legislative Assembly passed the Bill — the Indian Stamp (Telangana Amendment) Act, 2020 — during its special session on Tuesday. The Bill envisages making time-slot booking for registration of documents by the sub-registrar mandatory. “Time slots will be allotted after payment of full amount of stamp duty,” the Bill said.
Introducing the Bill on behalf of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy said the recently passed Telangana Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Act made it mandatory for the citizens to apply for registration through Dharani portal and select a time-slot after paying full stamp duty. It was accordingly decided to make time slot booking mandatory for the non-agricultural properties too.
Section 47-A of Indian Stamp Act in its present form gave discretion to the registering officer and option to the citizen to pay lesser duty disputing the market value fixed by the committee. Documents were being referred to the Inspector General of Registration and Stamps for determination of market value and the process gve discretionary powers to the registering officers.
This provision of the law was not completely consonant with the new system of time-slot booking through Dharani portal and there was also need to remove the discretionary powers of the registering officers. It was therefore decided to amend Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act suitably so as to bring it in conformity with the legal framework under the recently passed Act.
“The Bill is aimed at preventing under-valuation of properties and in turn causing a loss to the government,” Mr. Prashanth Reddy said. Replying to queries, he said citizens could make an appeal to the committee headed by the district collector comprising the district registering officer and others as members in case of grievances. “The committee rather than individuals will look into the grievances,” he said.
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