KOCHI: Before queuing up in front of the sub-registrar’s office for registering your newly bought property, it must be ensured that an assistant engineer from the local body has assessed its value. Opening a Pandora’s Box, finance minister Thomas Isaac made it mandatory from July 18, to obtain a valuation certificate issued by a person holding the position of an assistant engineer or above for property registration in the state.
The government decision has invited heavy criticism from various quarters, and critics allege it would open further space for corruption and manipulation in realty sector.
Fazal Ali, director, Bavasons Construction said, “All powers and discretion for fixing property value has been accorded to the officials with the local bodies. This decision provides a chance for large scale corruption.”
According to builders, though the local body officials are familiar with building rules, they are incompetent to assess property value. “As it is difficult for buyers to obtain valuation certificates, the builders will own up the responsibility. But, it must be understood that whatever amount the builder has to shell out it would be passed on to the buyer. And in effect it will result in cost escalation,” said architect L Gopakumar.
Ali also said as there was much confusion, the registration department was not willing to go ahead with registration process. He pointed out that engineers with public works department (PWD) would be in a better position to make an assessment of property value based on the PWD manual.
Officials with the registration department were unable to go ahead with property registration. They said it is unclear on what basics would the local body officials make the assessment. The department is not clear whether the valuation certificate has to be included as part of documentation and filed in the sub-registrar office.
However, Saji Kumar, chief engineer, local self-government department (LSGD) said though they have come across a government order issued by the registration department they were not aware of the finer details. It is generally believed that rates of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) would be made applicable.
Credits ET Realty