Thursday, 27 July 2017

New Mandovi Bridge by May ‘18 Zuari bridge by ‘19

PORVORIM: The State government on Wednesday informed the Legislative Assembly that the third bridge over River Mandovi would be completed by May 2018, while the cable-stayed bridge over River Zuari is likely to be completed by November 2019.

PORVORIM: The State government on Wednesday informed the Legislative Assembly that the third bridge over River Mandovi would be completed by May 2018, while the cable-stayed bridge over River Zuari is likely to be completed by November 2019.

In a reply tabled on the Floor of the House, PWD Minister Ramakirshna (Sudin) Dhavalikar stated that the third Mandovi bridge was likely to be completed by May 31, 2018.
The eight-lane cable stayed bridge over River Zuari is expected to be ready by November 29, 2019, the Minister said. Dhavalikar said that till date only two per cent of the work of the Zuari Bridge had been completed. The bridge will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1403 crore.
“The funds have already been received from the Central government,” the Minister said. “But, as per rule funds are never transferred to the State government. All the sanctioned funds remains with the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Government of India and bills paid from time to time by the Regional Officer,” he clarified.

Dhavalikar was replying to two separate questions on the status of the bridges over River Mandovi and River Zuari. The questions were tabled by Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar and Congress MLA Pratapsingh Rane. 


Source: Herald, Goa

Friday, 21 July 2017

Want to buy a house? 9 things you need to understand about GST

Magicbricks has compiled a list of new concepts that you need to know if you want to invest in real estate in particular and GST as a new concept in general
For every portion of the law, its interpretation plays a key role in its success and compliance. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is no different. The key aspect of the new law is to be able to distinguish between what is happening today and what will happen in the future.

Magicbricks has compiled a list of new concepts that you need to know if you want to invest in real estate in particular and GST as a new concept in general. So when you land in the property market you know how the taxation machinery works.

Dual GST

As states and the Centre have different roles to play as far as taxation is concerned, there is dual GST which means, for whatever the goods and services that you buy the two governments are going to levy tax.
To begin with, every state will have its own state GST act (SGST) and state GST rules. For instance, Delhi will have Delhi GST Act while Haryana will have its own GST Act. Similarly, the Union government has enacted the central GST law (CGST). In case of an interstate transaction of goods and services, it becomes IGST or integrated goods and service tax. There is not much to talk about IGST except that the central component and the state component have been rolled into one tax called IGST.

What gets subsumed?

Under the new tax regime, there are a number of taxes that will be discontinued. From a Union government's perspective, the central excise, the service tax, the two portions of the customs duty which is countervailing duty and special additional duty will disappear and merge into GST. From the state's kitty, VAT (value added tax), entry tax, octroi, purchase tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax and the various cesses and surcharges will all be subsumed into the new tax regime.

What stays?

From the real estate point of view, stamp duty, which is a state levy, stays. Basic customs duty will continue to apply the way it is applied today. A cess that applies on customs at the rate of 3% also stays. GST would apply to under-construction properties at 18% (effective rate 12%). KPMG partner (indirect tax) Priyajit Ghosh adds, "While electricity usage has been kept out of the purview of GST, water charges will attract concessional GST."

Unregistered vendor

The GST Act says that a person whose annual turnover is below Rs 20 lakh may or may not get registered under GST or pay GST. "If you buy goods from people who are unregistered then as a recipient you will have to pay GST on their behalf," says Ghosh. For instance, if a developer buys river sand from an unorganized player who is not registered and not charging GST, then the developer will have to pay tax on his behalf and then take a credit on the GST paid. This is a break from the past because hitherto if someone was transacting with an unregistered person, the liability to pay tax was on the supplier if he was below the threshold, but now the onus has shifted to the purchaser under the reverse charge mechanism.

Reverse charge

The reverse charge mechanism means that if a person transacts with an unregistered dealer, he will have to pay the tax within 30 days under the reverse charge mechanism. "Under the previous regime, one had to pay service tax for using certain services such as rent a cab, legal services or transportation of goods by road. The same concept has been borrowed under GST, which means for a certain set of services you will have to pay GST and later claim credit on it," explains Ghosh.

Input tax credit

The other aspect about GST is the input tax credit which is the heart of GST because there can't be a tax on tax. In the context of real estate, GST which is charged by contractors on construction of a house is going to be credited against the GST charge on sale. Under GST there is a composition scheme restricted to Rs 75 lakh turnover annually, i.e. between Rs 20-75 lakh. The composition scheme is a simplified scheme where one pays 1-2% on the entire invoice but one does not get ITC. This is a PAN-based turnover but not a state-specific turnover, which means, all states put together will not be able to go for a composition scheme and you are under a normal scheme. This means you will get a credit of all the input taxes that you have paid and you will have to charge the normal GST rate which is applicable, which is effective 12% in the case of real estate.

Anti-profiteering clause

GST says that whatever additional credit a developer gets, the price has to be reduced by that amount. Likely to be enforced on the lines of the Competition Commission of India, the 'Anti Profiteering Authority of India' will take steps to check collusion between businessmen who may not pass on profits to the consumer. So, a developer is bound to pass on the profits to the consumer else he may have to face penal provisions under the law.

Works contract

Until the GST kicked in, a works contract was any contract which meant supply of both goods and services. Post-GST this means any contract which involves construction of an immovable property, services to immovable property, whether goods or services. Any contract which involves moveable goods do not qualify for works contract under GST. Any reference to works contract under GST has to be in relation to immovable property.

Place of supply rules

The place of supply rules will play a crucial role in determining the correct tax. If there is a transaction between two parties where either the services or goods are exchanged for a specific price then it gets into the definition of supply. As far as real estate is concerned, transactions are for under-construction properties. Fundamentally, if a sale is happening for an under-construction property it will attract GST. Therefore, a constructed property which has received completion certificate or occupation certificate or land will not attract GST. The interest and penalty on a delayed payment recovered from buyers comes under supplies.

Similarly, stock transfers also attract GST. For instance, if a developer has a project running in Noida and he wishes to transfer the excess cement in Noida to his another project in Gurgaon, he will have to pay GST on the stock transfer of cement. There is no GST if you do a stock transfer of same goods or any services within the state.
In a nutshell, the price of a property is not the final outcome of taxes alone. There are other factors including demand-supply dynamics and government policies, which play a critical role in determining the price of a property.

Source: Economic Times

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Why Mumbaikars Love Quick Getaways

According to a recent report, Mumbai residents love to embark on short trips at the first given opportunity.

BT finds out what makes them take these quick breaks
When it comes to Mumbai, there is a gen eral perception that its citizens head to international destinations for vacations. But a recent report by a travel app would have us believe otherwise. The city has emerged as being the most travel-friendly, beating rest of India (700-cities to be precise) when it comes to travelling -either for work or leisure. It does not end there, Mumbaikars are also known to take frequent short trips whenever they get the opportunity, for instance long weekends and holidays. What's even more surprising is that they tend to make quick getaways to places around the city or in the country.International destinations are reserved for long vacations.

Over the years, Mumbai has strictly come to be associated with work. Given the work culture that follows a 9-to-9 cycle and a fast pace, stress levels are extremely high here compared to other metro cities in India. An actor (on condition of anonymity) put it succinctly, “Mumbai is strictly work. I travel the rest of the time to get away from here for peace.“

However, not everyone in the city can head to an international destination at the drop of a hat.

Foram Shah, a senior account manager with a digital agency , makes frequent trips away from the city. She says, “Mumbai's life is so fast and stressful, that from Monday onwards, we start thinking about Friday . We are all so preoccupied with deadlines and `what's next' that our days are planned accordingly -there is a set routine and just to do away with the monotony , we step out of the city regularly . We often go camping and trekking to places like Lonavla, Alibag, Igatpuri or Bhandardara.“

Pradnya Ajinkya, a counsellor, seconds Foram. She adds,“Travelling is a great stressbuster. But while some people travel to beat the stress of a crowded city like Mumbai, there is also the element of thrill. A lot of female travellers want to feel free and experience the thrill of travelling alone.“ HIGH ON ROAD TRIPS Road trips clearly score over other modes of transportation even with those who don't have a vehicle of their own.

Hardeep Saini, travel agent from the central suburbs, says that the monsoons witness a high demand for outstation cabs. He says, “Long vacations are also out of question with the re-opening of schools and colleges around this time of the year.So, we have people enquiring about Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Harihareshwar, Khopoli -places from where they can drive down to Mumbai.“

Mumbai citizens also loves to mix work with leisure. Says Abhishek Das, who frequently travels for work, “My annual trip is saved for an international destination. But during monsoon, I try and schedule my work trips over the weekend in Pune, so that I get to meet my friends and also relax. I usually book a cab from Mumbai to Pune for ` 2,000 and take a flight or train back.“

Pragya Narayan, who works in an MNC, says, “My job requires me to travel to places like Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. So, I leave on a Friday afternoon and get back to Mumbai on Tuesday morning. I get to enjoy the scenic views as I work.“

Vijayanti Deshpande, who runs an outstation rental cab service, adds, “While people want to travel throughout the year, bookings are heavy during the months of May-June-July . On any given weekend, more than 200 cars are booked for travel to places like Lonavla, Pune, Panchgani, Karjat and Matheran.“

Source: Times of India

Expat Sparsh can be your perfect weekend getaway.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Now, No Property Tax on Flats Under 500 Sq. Ft. in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Soon, homes in the city of up to 500 square feet will be exempt from property tax and those sized between 501 sq ft and 700 sq ft will get 60% discount on the tax. Shiv Sena has fulfilled its electoral promise by clearing the proposal at the BMC’s general body meeting on Thursday.

The proposal will be sent to the municipal commissioner to analyze the financial implications of the move and to find out how many homes will benefit in the city. The commissioner will then send the proposal back to the civic house for discussion. Once the house approves the commissioner’s recommendations, it will be sent to the state government for its final approval.

While activists said they are happy with the move, they added that the city’s old inhabitants—quite literally, “grandparents have occupied premises more than 50 years ago”—should be given similar exemptions for bigger houses, as they are forced to pay property tax according to its present market value.

Housing activist Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, “It is a welcome move. But why are they differentiating between residents of smaller houses and those who have lived in bigger spaces for generations? For instance, my family bought an over 800 sq ft flat 70 years ago for a few thousands and we have been living here ever since. Today, the civic body charges us property tax according to the flat’s market value. This is completely wrong. I do not make that much to pay the tax. It is a ploy to throw out the city’s original inhabitants.”

It was Shiv Sena leader Yashwant Jadhav who moved the proposal in the BMC house on Thursday. Surprisingly, the proposal got cleared without debate.

Jadhav said, “The state government will have to clear the proposal because it will not lose anything. The BMC will lose revenue while providing relief to citizens, and we are prepared for it. It was one of our poll promises, which we fulfilled.”

The BJP, though, said it was the first party to demand the waiver and wanted to add more benefits for slum dwellers, but in vain.

Most of the houses in the city are 1BHK or mostly up to 500 sq ft carpet area.

Source: Economic Times
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Panaji's Growing City Limits Attracting Developers

Panaji: Decades ago, if one had to suggest that that St Cruz and Penha de Franca would be part of Panaji, laughter would ensue. Today, the capital city has moved its tentacles far beyond and this has spurred the entry of real estate developers not just into the places mentioned above but to Kadamba Plateau, Merces and even Porvorim, which considers itself an independent town with smart city potential.
Goa's attraction as a tourist destination and the concentration of development in Panaji has prompted nearby areas to slowly be amalgamated into the capital territory. "The first clear move that Panaji was growing was when years ago the government decided to decentralize it. The decision was taken to move Goa University, Goa Medical College and government offices to the outskirts, at that time-Patto, Dona Paula, Bambolim and Taleigao," town and country planning department's chief town planner S T Puttaraju said.

With urban features like gated housing complexes, supermarkets, restaurants, wide roads, internet connectivity and private hospitals, areas including St Cruz, Porvorim, Taleigao, Ribandar, Merces, Verem, Dona Paula, Bambolim, Kadamba Plateau, Penha de Franca and Socorro are all part of an urban agglomeration with Panaji in the centre.
"A sign that the city was growing emerged when the decision was taken to convert Panaji municipal council into the corporation of the city of Panaji in 2011-12 and the inclusion of some parts of Ribandar under its jurisdiction," CREDAI president Jaganath Deshprabhu said.
Plenty of Indians and non-resident Indians invested in Panaji sending real estate prices sky high and once
Miramar, Dona Paula, Porvorim and Taleigao turned
unaffordable, surrounding villages became hunting grounds for developers and local residents.
"Nearly every house has a vehicle or a car so people have no hassle staying away from the city and commuting for 15-30 minutes if it means that they get a bigger home and are away from city congestion," Deshprabhu said. "As villages got populated with residential projects; commercial shops, showrooms and grocery stores came up completing the process."
The development of Patto as a commercial hub and the decision to make Cujira an education centre were part of the measures to decongest Panaji. The decision to shift central and state government residences to Porvorim fuelled the growth around Panaji. "It will also have the effect of creating development in that area and help bring Cujira in the city fold. Kadamba plateau is now developing into another hub," Puttaraju said.
The four-lane bypass corridor, currently being built from Panaji to Old Goa via the Kadamba Plateau, and the proposed IT Park at Chimbel have only sped up the urbanization process and housing market. "The inclusion of Kadamba plateau in the smart cities concept is being considered. But it is natural to consider Porvorim and the IT city in the smart city plan," Puttaraju said.
In 1960, the total area under Panaji was 4.2 sq km, but by 2011 it had grown to 8.12 sq km as per census records. "Though on paper, and politically, Taleigao is not considered as part of Panaji, it has been part of Panaji planning area since 1998-99. The census has also declared St Cruz and Taleigao as census towns. They qualify as urban centres but remain part of the panchayat area," Puttaraju added.
Though officials may state that the government is aware of the development process and is taking appropriate steps, on ground it looks exactly the opposite.
Not having learnt its lesson when it allowed National Highway 17 to bisect every possible major town in the state, right from Mapusa, to Panaji to Margao and then Canacona, the government continues to allow shops, banks, restaurants, showrooms and hospitals to come up along NH 17 in Porvorim.
"With a new mall and third bridge over the River Mandovi coming up, in five years Porvorim could be completely part of Panaji. What is missing is the infrastructure requirements. Ultimately, public bodies should sense the need to include the nearby areas in Panaji," said Deshprabhu.

While Panaji's outlying villages may show urban traits, the government may find it difficult to classify them as part of Panaji. Panaji is currently Sidharth Kuncalienker's constituency, Porvorim is Rohan Khaunte's, Taleigao is Antanasio Monserrate's and St Cruz is Jennifer Monserrate's.

"I agree that there are grounds for Panaji and vicinity to become one administrative entity, but it has to be a political decision. These areas have the characteristics of urban areas but you require an administrative decision to have them as one single urban entity," Puttaraju said. "Conceptually, it is good to plan the development of the entire area as one urban entity. One can consider including outgrowths of Panaji into the smart cities planning. It is the government's planning over the last two to three decades that has saved the city," he added.
Planning and development has to go hand in hand but unlike planning, which requires government effort, development happens on its own. Developers state that in the next five years Panaji will assimilate the nearby areas while government officials expect it to take 10-15 years. At the end of the day, the process can only be slowed down, not stopped.

Source: Times of India
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