In a major policy announcement on Saturday the municipal commissioner of Pune promised to impose a cap of five years on government ready-reckoner rates for the purpose of assessing the tax of new properties in Pune city.

New properties coming up will be assessed at the existing ready-reckoner rates for the next five years, the municipal commissioner, told reporters after presenting the Rs 1,681-crore draft municipal budget for the year 2007-2008.

Thus, even if the government revises the ready-reckoner rates in the next five years, the PMC will consider the existing rates to assess the annual rateable value (ARV) of the new properties.

However, the announcement provides only marginal relief to new property buyers as even the existing rates are high. The assessment of properties based on the ready-reckoner system itself has been challenged by corporators.
If any property, owned by a builder/individual, was assessed prior to April 1, 2005, then the flat purchaser/second buyer of the property will get the benefit of old assessment rates.

There is no need to re-assess such properties. On the contrary, flat purchasers should be granted 40 per cent rebate if they intend to use the property for self housing. Also an official circular would be issued to this effect very soon. The commissioner also remained firm on his proposal to hike the water charges by 15 per cent.
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