Punjab cabinet approves regularization of unauthorized colonies constructed before April 1, 2013

Chandigarh/June 15
Punjab cabinet on Saturday gave its approval for regularization of unauthorized colonies and buildings in the state that were constructed before April 1, 2013.
Punjab’s Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal gave approval for regularization of unauthorized colonies and buildings under the Punjab Laws (Special Provisions) Act-2013 in a cabinet meeting that was held today to provide basic civic amenities to majority of residents residing in such colonies.
“After the implementation of this policy, around 5000 colonies and 2 lakh individuals plot holders/building owners’ across the state will benefit from the policy. The policy will further focus on bringing all the unauthorized colonies/buildings into the planning framework and it will aim to regularize the development, which would further facilitate the smooth implementation of the master plans across the state to ensure the entire urban development in a holistic manner,” Badal said, adding that another aim of the policy was to provide the basic civic amenities to the residents of these areas and improve the circulation pattern of the streets/roads thereby checking the trend of haphazard growth.
Badal said that the policy will be applicable for a period of one year from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 in the entire state and unapproved colonies or the buildings that were constructed before the April 1, 2013 will be considered under this policy.
“Punjab government is providing this one time opportunity to the colonizers and plot holders to get their offence compounded and regularized and to improve the amenities in these areas. Further, the entire process will be completed by March 31, 2014 and after the scrutiny of applications colonizers/plot owners will be issued regularization certificates,” Badal said, adding that any colony constructed over the land belonging to state or central government or public undertakings or Panchayat lands or Waqf Board or Land under Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) and others doesn’t come under this policy.
Meanwhile, a Punjab government spokesperson said that policy will stipulate provisions to compound offences made under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act 1995, the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act 1995, the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976, the Punjab Town Improvement Act 1922 and the Punjab Municipal Act 1911.
“Under this policy, the plot owners were required to submit applications to the Chief Administrator of the concerned authority for outside the Municipal limits areas and to the Commissioner or Regional Deputy Director of Local Government for areas within the Municipal limits within 60 days from the date of the notification of this policy. Moreover, the colonizers were required to pay composition fee for compounding their offences, under this policy,” said the spokesperson, adding that the fee will vary from area to area for the colonies developed before and after August 2007 and if someone fails to apply within 60 days, legal proceedings will be initiated against erring persons.
The spokesperson further said that the approximate rates of composition fee will vary from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh per acre. Meanwhile, the individual plot or building owners could come forward for regularization of their plots or buildings by paying regularization charges which vary from Rs 50 per to Rs 500 per square yard. “The money collected will be used for providing basic amenities in these colonies. Further, the Cabinet also gave green signal to amend the Punjab Municipal Act 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976, in accordance with the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub Committee regarding the imposition of Property tax in the state besides securing Revenue for the urban local bodies. Accruing a major relief to the residents, the Cabinet also approved to do away with the Zone Wise Unit Value Based Property Tax,” he added.
The Cabinet not only decided to revert back to the old Annual Value System but also has given a slew of major concessions in that. “From the earlier house tax of 15% of the Annual Rental Value for the Commercial Rented Property, the rates have been drastically reduced to 10% and for Rental Residential Property Tax rates have been brought down from earlier 10% to 7.5% annually. Similarly, for non- rented Commercial Property the rates have been reduced from earlier 15% to 3% of the Annual Value. For self occupied houses upto 50 Sq. Yards a consolidated Rs. 50 per year would be charged and for houses between 50 to 100 Sq. Yards the annual consolidated tax of Rs.150/- would be charged,” the spokesperson added.
For self occupied house having area between 100 to 500 square yards, the property tax @ 0.5% of the Annual Value and for Self Occupied Residential above 500 square yards, a tax @ 1% of the Annual Value would be charged. For vacant plots and un-utilized buildings and plots the Property tax would be @ 0.20% of the Annual Value, he added.