During the weekly cabinet meeting held yesterday, industries minister Narayan Rane raised the point that the government may charge just 1 per cent — instead of the prevailing 5 per cent — as VAT on properties purchased for less than Rs 1 crore between 2006 and 2010. 

Even Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry has made a similar plea. Responding to the brief discussion, in which textile minister Naseem Khan too participated, finance minister Jayant Patil expressed his willingness to consider the demand.

CM Prithviraj Chavan suggested the issue go before a group of few senior ministers that can work out a way in the next few days. Meanwhile, a government official said though respite was being offered, it will be difficult to ascertain whether or not all those builders who have already collected money from property buyers return the remaining four per cent to those who fall in the category to be selected by the government.