The recent decision by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to implement differential betterment fee for sites in illegal layouts is expected to provide relief to people owning properties in such areas. However, this decision is yet to be finalized by the Karnataka High Court, which had earlier rejected two such notifications by the BBMP. Although property owners in illegal layouts might have the required land use conversion clearances it is the absence of clearances from the civic agencies that will attract the betterment fee. Similarly people owning denotified lands from various government agencies will also have to pay the betterment charges.
This decision by the BBMP was taken on January 29, 2014 in order to impel such plot owners to acquire an ‘A’ Khata since they currently have only ‘B’ Khata. One should apply for an A Khata by submitting the permission for conversion of land issued by the Deputy Commissioner along with the betterment charges to the BBMP. Owners with ‘B’ Khata are neither authorized to seek bank loans nor have approvals from the civic agencies such as BMRDA and BDA. Relying on these betterment charges, the BBMP that is currently cash strapped is anticipating generating additional revenue amount of at least Rs.200 crore. Besides adding an additional income source to the BBMP, this move will also make the process of building houses and selling sites an easier one for property owners. A large number of such plots that will generate revenue are situated on the outskirts of Bangalore and fall under the BBMP jurisdiction. The betterment fee will be implemented only on those lands with land use conversion clearances and not on revenue sites. Earlier the betterment fee decided by the BBMP was uniform at Rs.550 but they have now submitted differentiated revised rates to the Karnataka High Court.
There are two different fee slabs fixed by the civic body
* Rs.250 sq. ft., for properties measuring up to 1000 sq. m.
* Rs.200 for plots measuring more than 1,000 sq., m.
According to the BBMP, the fee slabs were fixed based on the money spent and to-be- spent for the infrastructural development in main areas and newly added areas of Bangalore.
The payment of the betterment fee can be done in four installments but if a person has to pay the betterment fee in more than 4 installments he/she is subject to a monthly interest of 1.5 %. BBMP also stated that these plots can be etched from lands only if they have permissions for non-agricultural use, and can also carve them from the denotified lands by various organizations such as the BDA, KHB, KIADB etc. Therefore, if BBMP implements the betterment fee owners of the following plots stand to benefit:
* plots that have land use conversion clearance but no layout plan approvals from the civic agencies
* plots on lands that are denotified by the government agencies
One can expect this rule implemented by the BBMP once they get an approval from the Karnataka High Court. Our team is in touch and the latest is that the BBMP officials are awaiting an official notification to this effect.
Watch this space for the updated news on the betterment charges by the BBMP.
Update : Confirming the news, BBMP commissioner, M Lakshminarayana said, “Orders have been issued and now it is final that BBMP will be collecting improvement charges. We have a chance to collect a crore of rupees in the form of revenue and it will also benefit the land owners whose sites or land have already been converted by deputy commissioner’s office from agricultural to residential or commercial purposes.” Effective March 6, 2014, land owners can avail of the benefit by paying the betterment charges at their nearest assistant revenue office (ARO).
A 2-tier system is expected to be implemented to collect the betterment fee effective 2007. The structure is such that the newly added 98 areas and the 111 villages will have to pay a betterment fee of Rs.250/per sq.mt and the older 100 wards that come under the main city will pay Rs.200/per sq. mt.