Thursday, June 20, 2024

BBMP Amendment Bill passed by Karnataka Assembly

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Certain Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, which empowers the state capital’s civic body, to levy charges pertaining to building plans and other permissions was passed by the Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday.

Participating in the discussions on the Amendment Bill, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said: “There was a circular pertaining to the collection of fees for building permissions in 2015. Some people had approached the Karnataka High Court challenging the circular. An amendment was passed to correct this in 2021. Another amendment was made in 2022 to make this fee retrospective.”

The High Court had stayed the circular, stating that building permission fees can’t be collected based on a circular. The applicants had not only challenged the amendment in the High Court but had also filed a review petition.

“Based on the circular, the government had collected Rs 1,712 crore from 2015 to 2023 and another Rs 688 crore was pending collection. There were some lapses in the circular and hence the High Court had ruled against it. The High Court order meant that the BBMP had to refund Rs 1,712 crore. This amendment is essentially to rectify that,” he said.

Many definitions in the circular such as Ground rent, Guidance value, Scrutiny fee, Levy fees, etc needed more clarity and hence this amendment is an attempt to redefine certain terminologies and rectify certain issues, Shivakumar added.

Responding to the demand of Leader of the Opposition R. Ashoka and MLA Ashwath Narayan not to increase the fees, he said that there was no such proposal before the government.

“The High Court had stayed the circular as the previous government had collected the fees based on just a circular. The Court had ruled that fees collection can be done only based on an amendment to the existing laws. (Former Chief Ministers B.S.) Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai had passed a law regarding this. This law was originally introduced by the BJP. Our government does not have any intention to increase the fees,” he clarified.

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