Can't review hike in ready reckoner rates: Eknath Khadse

Mumbai: Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse today refused to review the hike in the ready reckoner (RR) rates, which determine stamp duty collected by the government in course of property transactions, saying there is no such provision in law.

In his reply to repeated demands by the opposition parties in the Legislative Council to slash the rates which were raised by 14 per cent this year, Khadse said they are based on certain parameters that cannot be changed immediately.

"There is no provision in the Act to reduce ready reckoner rates once they are declared. In 2015, the average increase in rates was 14 per cent. One can appeal under rule 31 of Maharashtra Stamp Duty Act if he is aggrieved," Khadse said while replying to a question.

However, the NCP dismissed his remarks and sought to know the exact parameters based on which the rates are finalised.

Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde said Stamp Duty Act has a provision for reducing the RR rates even as NCP MLCs asked the minister if the methodology used to finalise the parameters was scientific, to which Khadse replied in the affirmative.

"Town planning officers, revenue officials and others decide the rates based on hearings conducted at various regions, average rates of of last five years. There are definite parameters that decide the rates. The rates also increase in some areas due to new projects, new construction,"he said.

Alleging discrepancy, Congress said the RR rates in Pune city and nearby Wakad area remained unaffected despite the hike.

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