Corporators’ panel for status quo on lease renewal fees
   Date :05-Oct-2021

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Staff Reporter :
A mere three per cent penalty at market rate should be charged by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as compounding fee in case the leased plots are diverted for commercial exploitation. In the case of use for residential purposes the penalty should be limited to 2 per cent. Making the said recommendations, the committee of corporators headed by former Mayor Sandip Joshi, however, said, “Only in case of non sanction of building map by Construction Department or the Town Planning of NMC, the sale for diversion of lease property would attract the penalty. Also the market rate for penalty would be calculated on the date of transaction and civic body should them stamp its approval to construction carried out by the developer.” In one single stroke the entire illegality carried out on leased plots in Dhantoli area, an upscale locality, other leasehold areas would be legalised since maximum of them would be having sanctioned building map. Apart from Joshi, the other members of the committee included Leader of Opposition Tanaji Wanve, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) Trustee Sanjay Bangale, Chairperson, Women and Child Welfare Committee, Divya Dhurde and corporator Vaishali Narnaware.
The committee submitted its report on Monday to Mayor Dayashankar Tiwari at civic headquarters. The coprorators committee conducted public hearing and examined various judgements of High Court and making several recommendations to resolve the vexed issue of renewal of leases that has got stalled owing to civic interpretation that was contested by citizens. The committee also went in details of ordinance that were issued form time to time by Maharashtra Government about lease renewal. NMC had formed the corporators committee and its terms of reference included bringing equality in terms and conditions of lease for lease holders, lease renewal handling charges, unauthorised transfer and use, land rent rates, non-agricultural tax, creation of mortgage or burden, renaming charges, no-objection certificate for sale and purchase, division of plots, changing classification of permanent leases to Class-I, realisation of penalty, etc. A public hearing was held by the committee on all these issues and public opinion was invited. During and after 1987, when renewing the lease, the terms and conditions of the lease were changed against the terms and conditions of the original lease. In the public hearing in this regard, the citizens said terms and conditions of the lease should be the same for all the land holders.
They also suggested that if there was any change in the terms and conditions during the previous renewal, it should be dismissed and the renewal for the next 30 years should be done by maintaining the original terms and conditions. The committee unanimously agreed that the terms and conditions could not be changed while the lease is in force and cited judgment passed of Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court. Accordingly, unilateral change in the terms and conditions of the lease is unlawful and existing lease should be renewed in accordance with the original terms and conditions. Joshi said that in the cases where the terms and conditions have been renewed and the terms and conditions have been amended, an explanation should be given in the amendment article regarding the cancellation of the terms and conditions. During the public hearing, people demanded charging a fee of Rs 500 from each landlord for handling the lease renewal. On this, the committee unanimously accepted the point raised by the people and their representatives. An amount of Rs 10,000 should be fixed for unauthorised transfer of leased plots, and also for the sale or transfer done once or for four times, a fine of Rs 10,000 should be levied, the Committee has recommended to NMC.
In cases where renewal of lease has been done as per Resolution No. 336 dated 25.11.2008 and Corporation Resolution No. 299 dated 20.10.2018, the land rent rate will remain the same till the expiry of their lease. Also in cases where land rent has been charged as per the notification of Maharashtra Government dated 13 September 2019, the land rent should be canceled and rate of 0.02 per cent of the market value per annum as per the prevailing market rate, the report said. Apart from this, the committee also agreed that permanent lease holders will not be able to apply for the renaming fee. An amount of Rs 5,000 should be charged for obtaining No Objection Certificate (NoC) for purchase and sale for purchase and sale should be made available at the Real Estate Department. The details of each transfer will be reported to real estate department of the corporation and the no-objection certificate for sale and purchase should be made mandatory after 30 years of renewal from 2017 to 2047 t o make the naming process easier and easier.