666 govt-leased plots offered for 'ownership'

Occupants of plots in the city leased out by the state government have much to rejoice over. They can now opt to become title-holders of their respective homes. In a bid to rake in revenue, the state government has offered ownership of the land to the occupants of 666 leased plots in the city but the offer comes at a price.

According to sources, the lease period of these plots has expired and the plots will be available for restricted ownerships against a transfer fee, which is a percentage of the ready reckoner rate. The offer will open from February 1, 2013 to December 11, 2014. The plan is to similarly offer ownership of plots for which lease period will be expiring in the next five or 10 years. Also, those opting to take advantage of the offer will need to know that it comes with some restrictions, but has two major advantages.

First, occupants of the leased plots can have his/her name on the land title and they will be free from paying the annual lease amount to the state. As per the government order issued recently, the transfer fee prescribed by the state government is 20 per cent of the ready reckoner rates for residential plots, 25 per cent of ready reckoner rate for industrial plots, 30 per cent for commercial plots and 20 per cent for plots used for educational, social, cultural, medical or charity purposes.

Transfer from lessee to Class I occupant is optional and those wanting to remain lessees can do so. Under the lease agreement, a government plot is given for a specific period of time and after the period expires, the government reserves the right to offer it again on lease to the same occupant or a fresh applicant.

But the Class II occupant is considered as the permanent owner of the plot with government restrictions, and is not allowed to create third party rights or change the user. Currently, the state has given 1,282 plots in the island city on lease, of which the lease period of 517 plots has expired. In the suburban district, the state has leased out 295 plots, of which lease period for 149 plots has expired.

The state also decided to implement a hike in lease rent for January 1, which will be based on ready reckoner rates. For residential plots, the state will charge two per cent off on 25 per cent of the total plot value, four per cent for industrial plots, five per cent for commercial. The state expects to rake in about Rs 140 crore per annum by way of lease rent.

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