In a significant development that will take the women empowerment to a new level, the Jammu & Kashmir government Friday announced to abolish the stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females. This will reduce costs of assets, in case of a purchase, by almost seven percent in urban J&K.
The decision which is believed to encourage share of women in otherwise hugely male-dominated immovable properties sector was announced by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on twitter “Pleased to announce that we have abolished stamp duty on the sale of property registered in the name of females. This incentive will encourage families to register their properties in the name of their sisters, daughters, wives & mothers.”
In another tweet, Mehbooba wrote that this is a token in respect of the share of women to the society, “Women, as of now own bare minimum immovable assets even after contributing the maximum to our society,” she added.
Though the property deals in the name of females were already subsidized by 25 percent, the concession upgrade will make it quite lucrative for women. Now there is a possibility of women getting into the real estate sector directly as well.
The Cabinet approved levying of stamp duty at 5 per cent in the urban areas and at 3 per cent in the rural areas if the property is registered in the name of a male member of the family. It the property in both urban and rural areas is registered in the name of a female member of the family, the stamp duty will be zero.
J&K has been one of the states where the stamp duty was exorbitant, at one point of time. Off late, it was rationalised. According to top officials in state’s Commercial tax department, the prevailing stamp duty is seven percent in urban J&K and five percent in rural belts of the state.
Though the real estate has been the most lucrative and investment friendly sector in the state, J&K government has not been much money from it. The overall collections from the stamp duty in last fiscal were at Rs 250 crore, the official said. The sector is in a state of the slide after the demonetization and the GST issues through the GST has nothing directly with it.
The waiver in the stamp duty is believed to change the equation and most of the deals would be done in the name of female members. This will add to the status, security and the overall economic stakeholding of the women in J&K society.
“This is a step of ensuring security to the womenfolk, otherwise they are at receiving end,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a retired employee told Kashmir Life.
In earlier cases of waiver in other parts of India, there was a significant increase of female share in the immovable properties.