BBMP Secures Authority to Collect License Fees: Cabinet Decision Eases Financial Woes Amidst High Court Refund Order

BBMP Secures Authority to Collect License Fees: Bbmp Authorized To Collect License: In an important move in the state cabinet meeting held on Thursday, the BBMP was given the authority to collect license fees. The state cabinet meeting has given a big relief to the BBMP, which was in a quandary by the High Court’s order to refund the land rental fee, license fee, and map copy fee collected from the public while approving the map sanction for the building construction to the concerned applicants.

BBMP Secures Authority to Collect License Fees

The State Cabinet meeting held at Suvarnasoudha, Belgaum has taken an important decision to amend the BBMP Act to enable the collection of ground rent, license fees, and other fees. The decision is expected to fetch Rs 2,300 crore for the corporation, scrapping the earlier requirement for fee refunds.

In response to building construction approvals under the BBMP, the state government has instructed to collect ground rent, license fees, inspection fees, and security deposits based on the prevailing guideline rates of the properties, with retrospective effect from September 4, 2015. It is suggested to implement this directive issued by the Chief Commissioner on the 8th.

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Additional sections (240A, 240B, 240C) were introduced into the KMC Act and BBMP Act 2020 and notification was issued for collection of various charges, which contributed to an increase in the revenue for the Corporation. 2,300 crore revenue is expected from this decision.

Public and builders had filed more than 100 petitions in the High Court questioning BBMP’s collection of ground rent and other fees. Hearing these petitions, the bench said that the charges levied by the BBMP under the building bylaws were not by the Karnataka Municipal Administration Act (KMC). It ordered that such charges can be continued only if brought under the Act and Rules by the State Government or the BBMP administration through appropriate amendments.

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In turn, BBMP has been instructed to cancel all fees and start refunding previously paid applicants. The builders contested BBMP’s authority to collect land rent and license fees at the time of sanction of the building map, while BBMP argued its right to levy various charges under the Building Byelaw.

Faced with a financial crisis and struggling to meet day-to-day expenses, the BBMP, which relies on revenue beyond property tax, is burdened by the High Court’s order to refund Rs 2,300 crore to the public and builders. In response to this, the Urban Planning Department of BBMP has proposed to amend the BBMP Act to allow the collection of ground rent, license fees, security deposit, and other fees during the building map approval process.

“Earlier ground rent and other charges were collected from builders in a circular with some loopholes in the BBMP Act. This has created a situation where the public and builders face a refund of Rs 2,300 crore. Now the Cabinet has decided to amend. An Act to allow fee collection,” said Rakesh Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department.

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