By Accommodation Times News Services
Realtors unite against LBT
MUMBAI, June 27, 2013: With the dark cloud of LBT (Local Body Tax) hanging ominously over their heads, developers in Navi Mumbai joined forces to form a new body called Federation of Housing Industry Associations (FOHIA) and fight against the imposition of the new tax.
Developers affiliated to six associations formed Federation of Housing Industry Associations (FOHIA) Navi Mumbai and Raigad. They are: MCHI-CREDAI Raigad, MCHI-CREDAI Navi Mumbai, Navi Mumbai Builders and Developers’ Association, Maharashtrian Builders’ Association and Navi Mumbai Chamber of Housing Industries & Maha Mumbai Builders & Dev. Association.
Mr Mohan Gurnani, President of FAM was the chief guest at a meeting held by the Federation last night, while Mr. Deepak Bapat, Advocate and Sales Tax Consultant, was the keynote speaker.
FOHIA convenor Mr. Rajesh Prajapati, who is also the president of MCHI-CREDAI Raigad, said: “We strongly oppose the Maharashtra v Government’s move to bring developers under the purview of LBT. This will kill the real estate industry. Ultimately, home buyers who are already reeling under a plethora of taxes will have to bear the brunt. Developers have, therefore, decided to unite under one umbrella – FOHIA – and fight against this injustice.”
Under the leadership of Mr. Mohan Gurnani, FAM will hold meetings with all concerned stakeholders such as developers, government officials, and consumers at large to arrive at a solution to the vexed issue.
Mr Gurnani said: “We are not against paying taxes per se, but we want a fair and uniform system in place. Currently, even the municipal authorities are not sure about the amount of tax to be levied on developers. Besides, the rates of raw materials such as cement and steel are different across cities in Maharashtra. Hence it is not possible to ensure a fair shystem of taxation. We fear LBT will only lead to corruption and harassment of the developer community.”
Mr. Gurnani also pointed out that the Government is planning to introduce Local Panchayat Tax in those areas where developers do not fall under the purview of LBT. This will sound a death knell to the industry that contributes significantly to the economy of the country.
Mr.Arvind Goyal, President of MCHI – CREDAI – Navi Mumbai explained that the common man will suffer the most with the imposition of LBT. Developers will be forced to pass on this tax to home buyers. Already, consumers are paying a lot of taxes such as service tax, VAT, etc. This new tax will further burden the common man. “His dream to live in a house of his own will remain just a dream,” he said.
Under FOHIA, developers will unite against the common problems faced by the developer community such as the imposition of LBT in Navi Mumbai, labour and supplier issues, said Mr. Ramesh Shah – Secretary of FOHIA.