Ahmedabad: Work-from-home invites commercial property tax! – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: At a time when a large number of offices has switched to work from home (WFH) mode to tide over the Covid-19 pandemic, it has proved costly for a local ceramic trader. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has imposed commercial property tax on the trader for ‘commercial use’ of his residence after the officers found display of ceramic articles in his home.

The AMC has also directed Suresh Tahiliani, owner of the ceramic business in Naroda, to stop using a portion of his residence as workplace as he had earmarked a small space of the property as his office following the lockdown period.

Though Tahiliani stopped using the space as office, he was forced to move the city civil court against the AMC’s notice which also directed him to restore the property to its original status of “residential” . Last week, the court stayed any action on AMC notice at least till the civic body explained its position before the court.

Tahiliani had purchased a residential property, demolished the structure and rebuilt it in 2016. A year later, he obtained the building use permission for residential purpose. He has been paying property tax to the civic body under the category of residential property for two years.

In July this year, he was asked to pay commercial tax for the property for 2019-20 after civic officials found an office being run from the premises. Tahilani had no issue with paying commercial tax, but AMC issued him a notice asking to stop using the property for commercial purposes and restore the building to its original position.

Tahilani wrote back to AMC in October explaining how he obtained BU permission after reconstruction three years ago. It was only for a short time after the lockdown that the small portion of the premises was used as an office where ceramic articles were also showcased.
Ahmedabad: Work-from-home invites commercial property tax!‘WFH doesn’t mean setting up shop at home’

Ahmedabad Municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said the merits of the case would have to be examined. “Usually, WFH does not mean that you can set up a shop at in your house. WFH means having a personal workstation, a few files and a corner room to yourself. AMC does entertain applications for converting part of residential properties for commercial use, but then there is a procedure.”

“We receive applications from citizens for converting part of the residence for commercial use for requirements under Shops and Establishment Act or for obtaining professional tax certificates. But when people don’t reveal that part of their properties are used for commercial purpose we have to go by the book. At present AMC does not have any tax exemption policy WFH policies,” says a senior AMC tax official.

AMC did not respond to Tahilani’s representation, and he went to civil court. The AMC has not responded to the court’s notice and the court thus stayed any AMC action pending reply.



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Ahmedabad civic body to lease out 4,835 commercial properties for 99 years – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to let out 4,835 commercial properties to existing tenants at jantri rates.

The AMC standing committee decided that these properties will now be given on 99-year leases to the existing users who have been paying the rent to the corporation.

Standing committee chairman Amul Bhatt said this was a major issue and the state government has formed a policy and based on the government’s directive, the AMC has decided to let out these properties on 99-year leases.These are old buildings that have been given on rent for periods ranging from 10 years to 30 years.

The decision to give these properties on lease was taken at the AMC general board meeting in 2010-11 and the standing committee had taken a final decision on July 5, 2012.

This was given final approval on July 27, 2012, and was sent to the government for final approval. On September 5, the state government granted its approval.

The government has stated the property can be given on lease for 99 years at 20% to 30% of the existing jantri rate and if the present tenant was a sub-tenant he or she will have to pay 30% of the jantri rate.

Of the 4,835 commercial properties, the maximum majority, 2909, are in the Central Zone, while 511 are in the South Zone, 303 in the West Zone, 194 in the East Zone and one in the North Zone.



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Leaseholders of Ahmedabad civic body-owned properties may get ownership rights – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: Leaseholders of commercial properties owned by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will be able to get the ownership of such properties by paying a certain percentage of its cost, if the proposal made by the estate department is accepted.

The proposal will come up for discussion during the AMC standing committee meeting on Thursday. If accepted, this decision could cover 8000-10,000 such properties, including open land plots, in Ahmedabad.

As per the proposal, lease holders like refugees, mostly from Pakistan, as well as others, will be allowed to seek ownership of that property.

In case of refugees, if the property is still in possession of the person who had got it on lease originally, that person will have to pay just 20%. However, if s/he has sub-let it, the other tenant will have to pay 30% as well as transfer fee.

Others, who are not refugees, can get ownership by paying 30-60% of the jantri rates. For instance, those who have had the lease for more than 46 years will have to pay 30% of the existing jantri rate. It will be 40% for leaseholders in possession of the property for 31-45 years, 50% for 16-30 years and 60% for less than 15 years.

Market places that have been leased out include Municipal Market on CG Road, Municipal Market in Usmanpura (Below Auda Office), the mutton market as well as the fish market in Mirzapur, Lathi Bazaar in Jamalpur, Suvidha complex in Parimal garden area; firecracker market near Prem Darwaja, Naroda fruit market, shops at old octroi naka, Delhi Darwaja market among others.

In 2012, the civic body had passed a resolution that would pave the way for lease holders to get ownership of the property in their possession. It was sent to the State government. Around one-and-a-half months ago, the State government sanctioned it and announced the granting of ownership rights of 4,500 properties in Ahmedabad let out to various people, including Sindhi refugees, around 40-45 years ago. At that time, it had been reported that this decision would help the civic body reduce the litigations involving such rented properties.

Following this announcement and on the basis of the 2012 resolution, the estate department of AMC made the proposal to grant ownership of properties on lease to those who have their possession.

Sources in AMC said, “The civic body had passed the resolution to regularise properties given on lease. Recently, the State government announced that those in possession of such properties would be given possession rights. On that basis, the department has decided the rates for seeking ownership of these properties. This proposal will come up for discussion on Thursday.”

As per the proposal, once the deadline for applying for ownership is decided, those who fail to apply by then will have to then pay 15% of the jantri rate as annual rent for the property.

Welcoming the move, Sameer Sheikh, who runs a shoe shop named Cona in Municipal Market CG Road, said, “If AMC brings in this scheme, it will be beneficial for us. We will pay the amount decided by AMC and get the ownership of the property.”



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Now, Covid coordinators must for housing societies in Ahmedabad – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has made it mandatory for all housing societies, apartment complexes and colonies to appoint Covid coordinators.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on Monday. Rajiv Gupta, additional chief secretary, forests and environment, who is in charge of Covid management in Ahmedabad said, “After getting positive results through the last intervention of Covid coordinators for offices, institutions, commercial and industrial units that have 30 or more workers, the AMC has decided to have coordinators for all residential societies.”

Under Rule 11 of the regulations for prevention and containment of Covid-19 framed by the Gujarat government under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the AMC has made it mandatory for the secretary, chairman, organizer, manager or owner of every residential society to appoint someone Covid coordinator and to inform the assistant municipal commissioner concerned.

The AMC stated that if visitors to the society have Covid symptoms it will be the responsibility of the Covid coordinator to inform the authorities or the nearest urban health centre for testing. They will also have to prepare a history of contacts in the last 14 days, and will have to send the report to the assistant municipal commissioner of their ward

Apart from ensuring that no home quarantined person comes out, the AMC states that in micro-containment zones, office-bearers of the society will be responsible to no one comes into contact with any person with Covid.
Now, Covid coordinators must for housing societies in AhmedabadThe office-bearers will have to ensure that antigen testing is done for all residents of a micro-containment zone. The AMC made it clear that for any negligence or non-compliance the chairman /secretary shall be held responsible and shall invite prosecution under Section 188 of the IPC, the Disaster Management Act 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

AMC said that now, as the sero-positivity study has confirmed that immunity is not necessarily being developed in people in terms of antibodies, and as there is no vaccine available, prevention is the need of the hour. AMC has therefore decided to take these measures to enable community participation in Covid management.



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