Anil Thakraney: Flat buyer ki VAT lag gayi!

14 Sep,2012

By Anil Thakraney


One industry that rarely gets attention in the media is the real estate sector. And that is strange, it should be under the scanner all the time. In nexus with dirty politicians, certain developers have not only usurped public land, they have directly contributed to promoting massive corruption in the country.


Developers are in the news these days (for the wrong reasons, of course), because the Maharashtra government is all set to levy VAT on properties purchased between the years 2006 and 2010. The developers’ association went to court against this order, but they lost the case in the High Court, though the final verdict has still to arrive from the SC.


When I first read about this news, I almost collapsed from a heart attack. Imagine a middle class aadmi being suddenly ordered to cough up lakhs of rupees for no fault of his. (I bought my house in the year 2008.) Later when I discovered that the VAT is only applicable on properties purchased in under-construction projects, I shrieked hysterically with joy, as I don’t fall in that unlucky category. But thousands of residents who do, will now suffer. Simply because the developers are merrily passing on the VAT burden and the late penalties onto the flat owners.


Where is the justice in this? To begin with, it is the developers who went to court, it is they who should be paying the penalties on late VAT payment. The residents had no fricking clue about this! So then why are the developers being allowed to pass this burden on to flat owners? Secondly, many developers hid the clause of the possible VAT payment from the buyers, while selling the flats. So why must the latter suffer today because of this deliberate omission of fact? To give you an example: If the developer had said to me at the time of booking the flat, ‘Dude, the total cost is Rs 75 lakhs, but you may have to shell out another five lakh rupees because of VAT’, I might have backed out of the deal altogether. But this wasn’t communicated to me.


So, as usual, the poor consumer will suffer. The developers and the state government will both, as usual, laugh all the way to the bank (or wherever else they keep the loot). I really think the mass media and the business press needs to keep a sharper eye on the goings-on in the glittering world of real estate business. I am actually looking out for many sting operations to happen.



PS:  Seems like Volkswagen’s ‘vibrating’ innovation has landed the company in a bit of bother. Someone from Volkswagen posted a highly sexist and offensive tweet, obviously miffed at all the negative comments in the social media. And then they quickly deleted the said tweet, but it was too late, the damage had been done. So who’s the one shivering now? Hit the link for details on the sexist tweet.


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