Delhi Government comes up with Fresh Directive on Sale of Properties

Government of Delhi issued a fresh directive to the revenue department asking it to allow sale and purchase of immovable properties only through proper sale and not allow any such transactions by way of General Power of Attorney.

The direction issued by Divisional Commissioner Vijay Dev came as registration of properties at 13 sub-registrar offices across the city had slowed down drastically due to confusion on the issue following issuance of an advisory last month by the government clamping down on property transaction through GPA. “In today’s direction, the government has asked all concerned officials to strictly comply with the Supreme Court order on the issue. The order has been issued to remove the confusion,” said an official.

The government had put restrictions on GPA as a mode of property transfer following the apex court order on October 12 last year but such transactions had been taking place despite the order, prompting the government to issue the advisory. Following the advisory, registration of properties has come down at the sub-registrar offices.

The Supreme Court had on October 12 last year ruled that sale transactions carried out in the name of GPA will have no legal sanctity and immovable property can be sold or transferred only through registered deeds.

Cities to be taller as Plan panel seek Higher Floor Space Index.

The skyline of Indian cities could soar as the government considers permitting vertical growth with the aim of checking runaway realty prices and generating resources to upgrade urban infrastructure for future growth. A Planning Commission steering committee, in its draft report, has recommended providing additional FSI (floor space index; the ratio between built-up area and plot size) as development rights, but said it should not come free of cost.

The panel said the charges for additional FSI and land-use conversions should be at least 50% of the circle rate in the area and should be determined professionally. It added that additional FSI should be permitted selectively.

The commission’s steering group on urbanization said the revenue from grant of additional FSI should be “suitably ring-fenced for funding infrastructure projects to sustain higher FSI”. “The proposals, if accepted, would substantially increase availability of housing stock and moderate realty prices,” said an urban development ministry official.

Calling the present density regulations in Indian cities “archaic”, the report noted that Indian cities had the lowest FSI in the world. “This (densification) should be part of a balanced strategy for expanding the effective supply of prime land and, in the process, raising funds to finance urban infrastructure improvements,” the committee noted.

The Centre should introduce incentives that encourage states and cities to pursue densification strategies for future urban development, it said. Many cities were already levying such charges for additional FSI in some form or the other, it noted. Hyderabad, for instance, has a ‘city level impact fee for high rise buildings’ and Ahmedabad has systematically been selling a limited amount of additional FSI.

The committee said higher FSI should go hand in hand with provisions such as amalgamation of plots to make housing more affordable. Rather than the current practice of having a blanket FSI across a city, the panel wanted mixed land use promoted through the concept of granular FSI. “Densification with mixed land use as a planning strategy needs to be followed by the authorities to accommodate future urbanization needs,” said a ministry official.