REAL ESTATE
 

 

Divali discount on flats
Despite a booming industry in Baddi and builders offering discount on flats this festive season, poor infrastructure deters buyers, discovers Ambika Sharma

Poor infrastructure is affecting the real estate market in the industrial area of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh despite an otherwise booming market in the festival season. The realtors, who have invested crores in the region, are now awaiting buyers to come forward.

With a view to woo the buyers some developers are now offering discounts on unsold flats while others feel the season isn’t offering much to them. A leading builder, Mr Lalit Jindal, who is promoting the Hill View Flats apartments, is offering a discount of 3 per cent on flats till Diwali. With prices ranging from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 25 lakh for the two and three-bedroom flats the offer is expected to boost sales.

“Since these high-priced flats cater to the top-level executives in the corporate world the sales have picked up. As against six to seven flats sold in a month already seven to eight flats have been sold in this past one week only,” quips Mr Jindal adding, “This is an opportunity to cash in on the market sentiment where buyers consider the season quite auspicious to buying.”

Another builder Prem Goyal is planning to launch his mall towards the end of the season. “Work is at the final stage and I am hoping to launch the mall by the month-end. This appears to be the best time as the buyers appear in good mood to spend.”

Gauging the pulse of the market the realtors, who could not sell enough flats, are also offering discounts which range from 3 to 5 per cent. With 5,500 flats coming up in the industrial area alone, it is the ambience, planning, vicinity of the colony, etc., which are being weighed by the investors before selecting a flat. The requirement of housing is pegged at 25,000 in the area.

Some early starters, who ignored some of these crucial factors, are now facing difficulty in selling their flats. Since little planning could be taken up before the development of the area there are situations where flats facing jhuggis or brick kilns have come up. They have largely disappointed the buyers. Some of these flats are now offering discounts to attract some buyers.

With thousands of company executives commuting from Panchkula, Chandigarh and Mohali the development of residential houses is being eagerly awaited. The arrival of private entrepreneurs in crucial fields like health and education has given the much-needed boost to the investors. Unlike other places the flats would be sold readily as the demand is immense and the flats won’t remain with the investor or the financier for long.

Investors are, however, weighing factors like approach roads, ambience and absence of industries before buying flats, says Dr Ashwin Johar from Garden Valley.

“Poor infrastructure has, however, put our plans on the back burner. The worsening condition of the stretch of road between Pinjore and Baddi shows no sign of improvement. The callous attitude adopted by the state government is a major deterrent for the buyers. Although more buyers were expected to come forward but there number is only a fraction of what was earlier anticipated. As against 10,000 enquires received when we had advertised our flats a very few buyers came forward,” says Mr Khullar from Monal Apartments. The company is offering two and three bed-room flats at prices ranging between Rs 18 lakh to Rs 23 lakh.

“Even the cost of our car maintenance has gone up by as much as four to five times due to the bumpy pot-holed roads. Company executives prefer to go back to Chandigarh and Panchkula rather than brave the worn-out, pebble-filled muddy roads,” revealed another investor He added that the poor maintenance of roads had deterred them from offering discounts as it appeared difficult to find enough buyers.

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Commercial rents skyrocket
With the city being touted as the next IT hub, arrival of corporates has made the commercial rents touch the sky, says Ruchika M. Khanna

If the slump in sale of property is making realtors jittery, the returns accrued through renting out commercial property in the city is keeping the cash registers ringing.

During the past four months, the city has witnessed a near 40 to 50 per cent jump in rentals for commercial property. Those in the real estate business say that retail rental in the main commercial centre of the city, Sector 17, has increased by 100 per cent in just past couple of months. Even rentals for commercial property in NAC Manimajra, besides Sectors 22 and 35, have gone up by almost 30 per cent.

Realtors say that the city beautiful is getting popular worldwide as a preferred IT destination. Also it has become a major industrial hub. This has led to the rise in rentals. Mr Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, senior vice-president, Property Consultant Association, Chandigarh, says, “All companies which are coming here are on the look out for a commercial place to set up their corporate offices. Since the total commercial

space in the city, as also in Panchkula and Mohali, is limited, the rentals for it, too, are rising with the rise in demand”.

Earlier this year, when a top company with interests in petrochemicals, took a building in Sector 17 on rent, reportedly for a seven-digit figure, it created ripples in the real estate market. However, this led to a spurt in commercial space rentals in Sector 17. The monthly rent for a showroom here now varies between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. Similarly, the rentals in NAC Manimajra (especially in the newly built showrooms besides the Cremation Ground) have shot up in the past few months. Mr P K Grover of Pee Kay Associates says that the rentals for showrooms in Manimajra vary between Rs 1. 50 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per month. “In Sectors 22 and 35, the rentals are as high as Rs 200- 250 per square feet. Overall commercial rents are around Rs 40 per sq feet,” he adds.

As a result, returns on commercial property are between 5 to 6 per cent. With the opening of at least four new malls (two in Sector 17 and two in Industrial Area), these returns could go as high as 7 to 8 percent, add realtors.

“However,” says Mr Grover, “the rentals of commercial property still do not commensurate with the property prices. The prices have risen exponentially; comparatively, the rentals are not as high. But if the market trends are to be believed, rentals could go higher”.

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Punjab to computerise land records
Sarbjit Singh

The Punjab Government has entered into an agreement with a private company, CMS Computer Limited, for computerising entire land record in the state. It will be done under the Integrated Land Management System (ILMS) project to be operated in 153 tehsils and sub-tehsils.

An MoU was signed between Mr Arvinder Singh Bains, Director of Land Records, and Mr Ramesh D. Grover, Chairman CMS Computers Ltd, Mumbai, in this regard. Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, was also present on the occasion.

Mr Randhawa said this project envisaged data entry of all seven registers of revenue record, updating of the records to the current level, and thereafter, providing land records related services to people concerned through the special centres to be set up for this purpose. All records would be updated on a perpetual manner through software designed for this purpose. It will take two years to complete the project.

He said once the land records were computerised, it would enable people to get land deeds registered through e-mail at any place in the state. “We will introduce the concept of e-patwaris in Punjab under this project,” he asserted.

Mr Randhawa said in second phase of the project processes would be initiated to computerise the functioning of the office of sub-registrars. It would include scanning of the documents and fingerprint, taking digital photograph and registration of the document. With the completion of this project, the people of Punjab would be relieved of the complications of the land-holdings in the state. Total land records would be updated and litigation could be minimised to a certain extent through this transparent and people friendly prestigious project.

He also said the most important feature of this Rs 95-crore project was that land records and registration system would be integrated on a single platform in a seamless manner.

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A model township in the valley
Concept of a planned township is being introduced for the first time in Srinagar, says Ehsan Fazili

To provide an array of world-class housing solutions with state-of the-art-technology, customised to Kashmir specifications is the vision of Lakshmi Vatika Limited, which is planning to construct its township near Srinagar.

The concept of a planned township is being introduced for the first time in the valley, which has seen a lot of haphazard growth of residential colonies in Srinagar for over past more than a decade. This has been mainly because of the migration of educated, service and business class of people from the rural areas of the valley to the capital for better education, healthcare and transport facilities with a comparatively secure atmosphere.

The launch of this township at Mirgund, about 19 km north of Srinagar, was formally announced in September on the Teachers’ Day.

Mr Ghulam Nabi War, chief of the project in Srinagar, said there had been a tremendous response since then, claiming that 310 applications had been received for 170 residential houses in four different categories. The cost of a complete house in five different categories would range between Rs 32 lakh and Rs 1.2 crore.

The selections would be made on merit basis to provide a “comfortable living” for people with a sound social and economic background, he said.

The project spreads over 340 kanal (42 acres) of land. It would be completed within two and half years’ time, he said. At least 40 per cent of land has been earmarked for roads, parks and public utility services like hospitals, school and other facilities for the residents.

The location of this unique proposed township at Mirgund is on the highway to Baramula. Work on an uncultivable piece of land at Parihaspora has already started.

This trend would also help in checking the alarming conversion of cultivable agricultural land into residential colonies, believes Mr War. “The government has not been identifying proper places for construction of residential colonies”, claimed War and his colleague, Mr Parvez Ahmad. “There is no alternative to the needy people than to opt for congested colonies”, they commented.

The chief of the project lamented that a vast tract of agricultural land and orchards had been converted into residential colonies that have come up in a haphazard manner during the recent years. Except for some pockets available with the government to develop residential colonies in Srinagar, there were no possible ways to fulfil the increasing housing demand of the increasing population, he believes. “Such townships will lessen the burden on cultivable land and also discourage the broker system,” he adds.

The Delhi-based Lakshmi Vatika Limited (LVL), a real estate company, led by Devendra Aggarwal, is going to create integrated nature towns in seven locales in the country. “The integrated township at Srinagar will be its first model township of Jammu and Kashmir. It will be a beginning of a new era in affordable and aesthetic housing in harsh and extreme climate of the valley,” claimed the company. The township would have eco-friendly and holistic design. The architects, GRID PLC, are involved in the master plan and construction of the township.

In its efforts to protect the environment, maximum care is being taken not to disturb the natural elements, including the green cover. The township will have many parks ranging from the neighbourhood-level to the township as a whole. It also plans to give special protection to certain endangered species of flora of Jammu and Kashmir that would be planted in the parks. The planners also aim at reserving large tracts of land as the “urban forest” that will be natural pockets of bio-diversity. Due attention is also being given to the sectors like education, health, amenities and communication. 

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Customers still awaiting regulatory authority
Despite the need to set up a realty regulator, builders “pressurise” the
government to defer the move, says Manoj Kumar

“I had paid Rs 3 lakh as earnest money in 2004 to a builder in Gaziabad, who had promised to provide a flat for Rs 18 lakh in a year. But, he continued to delay the construction on one excuse or other, and I could get the possession only after two year that too by paying Rs 1.5 lakh escalation charges,” rues Sangeeta Verma, a government employee.

She was shocked, when she found building material of poor quality. “I had to spend over Rs 1 lakh to make the house worth living,” she laments adding there was no place to complain against this builder who has cheated large number of buyers time and again

This story is not of Sangeeta alone, but of thousands of gullible customers across the country whom the unscrupulous property dealers, builders and housing financiers, have cheated.

Since the civil courts and even consumer courts have failed to discipline the unregulated industry, the customers are waiting for setting up of some Regulating Authority that could provide some relief to such buyers.

High realty growth

It is surprising that though the real estate sector has grown to worth over Rs 1 lakh crore annually, but unlike the insurance, telecom and power sector, there is no regulatory body to monitor the haphazard growth of the industry and to look into the complaints of stakeholders.

It is not only the metros, but tier-II cities and small towns as well, where the local authorities and customers are finding that builders and property dealers are deceiving them by violating the bylaws and sometimes arm-twisting the new buyers to get money.

Financial Institutions

The Central Bank Reserve Bank has already cautioned the banks against indiscriminate lending in the real estate sector, considering high risk and role of speculators.

The bankers, financial institutions and foreign investors have often complained against the “unethical practices in real estate market, like under-valuation of sale deeds to evade stamp duty, lack of standards about building material, circulation of black and hawala money” which need close monitoring by a regulatory body.

Initiative by Urban Development Ministry

The Central Government has so far tried to evade the issue pleading that land is a state subject and it has no role to play. However, after the mounting of pressure from the financial institutions and consumers, the Union Ministry of Urban Development has agreed to bring a model Bill on setting up Real Estate Regulatory Authority that could help the states with their own laws.

Disturbed by the development, a section of builders has succeeded in pressurising the government. Due to this the Bill has been deferred and is now likely to be presented only next year in the Parliament. Earlier, the ministry had promised to introduce the Bill in the coming winter session of the Parliament.

“We are working on the draft of the Bill, which will offer a single window to the builders to get all clearances relating to environment, water, sanitation and electricity besides protecting the interests of consumers,” said Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken.

Scope of Regulator

In fact, the Centre is likely to come up with only a Model Regulatory Act that will be implemented in the National Capital Delhi and union territories but the states would be encouraged to enact their own laws as per local requirements.

Since there is wide variation between the land laws, says another builder, a Central Act may not be applied in the sector. Further, according to seismic conditions, terrain of states, the Regulators may frame separate rules regarding height of the building and floor area covered etc.

Industry view point

In view of the increasing foreign direct investment in the real estate sector, a section of industry is hopeful that the Regulator would encourage good practices and transparency in this highly corrupt sector.

“We will support the government initiative to set up a Regulatory Authority provided it helps the growth of industry. It can be set up on the pattern of stock market watchdog SEBI, which can help the industry to generate funds from the domestic and foreign markets, besides protection to the consumers as well,” opines Resident Director of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India.

It has also asked the states to bring down the stamp duty to below 5 per cent from the prevalent rate of 8 to 15 per cent to promote the growth of the sector. Once the Regulator is set up, said another player, states may be asked to bring down stamp duty.

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Light up your homes this Divali
And don’t switch off, says Shveta Pathak as the season also brings a variety of lighting fixtures for interiors and exteriors

Shops in the electrical goods market in Chaura Bazar have been flooded with a wide range of fancy lights
Shops in the electrical goods market in Chaura Bazar have been flooded with a wide range of fancy lights. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Divali — the festival of lights — not only lights the dark amavas night of Kartik but also floods the market with various other lights to light up our homes. Surprisingly, it is not only decorative lights which are used as part of festivities that can be found almost everywhere in markets, but sales of lighting fixtures for interiors and exteriors and other fixed lights used in homes too register a quantum jump during this part of the year.

And what better place than the industrial city, home to the largest electrical market in this region, to shop for these lights. “Around Divali the sale of lights used in homes increases significantally as fresh stocks are introduced in the market. As a result of which the existing ones are sold off at heavy discounts,” explains Ms Pammy Khurana from Light Spot, a showroom in electrical goods market in Chaura Bazar, Ludhiana.

While it is Chinese lights that virtually rule the lights market, there are a large number of designs imported from places like Austria, Taiwan and Italy as well. The ones manufactured in India are rare to be found and do not have many takers on account of heavy proving, lesser variety and “not so good” designs.

“Those in this business deal only in imported lights these days. Particularly from China, which comes out with a wide variety and concepts every three to four months, giving customers a lot of options. The ones from Italy can be made out from difference in designs and a price that is little higher in comparison. But these lights, too, are bought by a lot of people,” said Mr Kartar Singh of Lit n’ Lites, a showroom on Malhar Road in Ludhiana.

The price range starts from around Rs 150 and can go up to Rs 1,200 for one piece while in case of chandeliers, the commonly used ones come in the range of Rs 1800 to Rs 6000. The city also has many takers for chandeliers done on order and their price could go up to several lakhs of rupees, say traders. In case you are looking for a good bargain, a wholesale market is the place to go. Prices could be almost one and half times higher in the retail market.

The variety in designs has to be seen to be believed - from gold finish, to wood to copper and silver and many more, it is mind-boggling. Floral designs, crystals, geometrical shapes and abstract forms are more in vogue.

With home interiors having assumed an all-time high importance, lighting fixtures are being used not essentially to light a room or a place but also to create a mood or even a subtle effect or in certain cases give an enhanced look to the place these lights are used.

“Gold finish is almost out. People demand matte finish products and there are those who want lights that gel with the theme of their interiors, which could be wooden or copper. Besides, silent lights are quite in demand for they create a lot of impact on the interiors. Sober designs that give a stylish look are in,” said Ms Khurana.

Trends change in this market quite fast now a days and a large number of people change lighting fixtures every few months. “Since they are easier on pocket, we have a lot of customers who change the entire lighting of their house every five-six months,” said Rajeev Kumar, another trader.

In designs, the loud golden hues have now been replaced by gentle matte finish. “An increasing number of people are preferring sober designs that look stylish. Wood finish and even steel finish in matte look are popular. Copper also is in demand but the choice primarily depends on the theme for the home one opts for.

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Politician-property dealer nexus defrauds residents
Sunit Dhawan

Change of regime in the state is usually accompanied by an upsurge in real estate prices, and this time was no exception. The usual modus operandi is that some big property players join hands with local leaders of the ruling party and purchase large chunks of agricultural land on the outskirts of towns and cities. This land is then divided into residential plots to be sold to unsuspecting residents.

Such self-styled colonisers then mostly form housing societies to hoodwink the government. These colonisers also lure small-time property dealers to bring in customers. The small timers are offered substantial amounts or even a few plots in return. Thus the illegal business of unauthorised colonies thrives.

There are numerous unauthorised colonies located on the outskirts of Hisar and other cities that have been developed by real estate dealers under patronage and silent partnership of politicians belonging to the ruling party.

Since the plots are not registered in the name of buyers, they just get a “land-transfer card” from the property “developers”. The prospective customers are assured that they can sell their plots at a higher price at a later stage.

At the time of selling plots, the colonisers present a rosy picture before the prospective buyers for luring them into investing their money. However, many a time, there is no provision even for the basic amenities like water supply and sewerage lines, let alone the other facilities promised to be “available in near future”.

The buyers are also convinced that since a ruling-party leader is behind the scenes, the “colony” would soon get regularised. Many such colonies though actually do get regularised at the time of elections, owing to political compulsions.

The government, as well as the authorities concerned, later maintain that the step to regularise such settlements had been taken by adopting a “humane approach” and “in larger interest of people” to justify the regularisation.

However, many such colonies are razed to ground later, as most of the colonisers do not pay the requisite development charges, nor do they complete the specifications laid down by the department concerned. In the end, the residents, who had bought the plots, have to bear the brunt after losing their hard-earned money, while the sizeable profits are pocketed by the colonisers.

The officials concerned of the Town and Country Planning Department and related government agencies are either bribed or threatened to keep their eyes and ears shut and let the things go on. Certain upright and unrelenting officials are shunted out to ensure “smooth dealings”.

Many big players in the field buy large chunks of agricultural land located near big cities and towns, due to which land area under cultivation keeps on shrinking. Moreover, crores of rupees of investors are blocked in such unauthorised colonies, which leads to a slump in the property market.

However, the property “developers” as well as their political partners, besides the “accommodating” officials, mint huge amounts of money in the entire process.

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TAX tips 
Capital gains on house sale exempted if buying, constructing house
By S.C. Vasudeva

Q. I am a retired person and getting pension of Rs 1,10,000 P.A. I own a small house purchased in 1978 at Rs 1,20,000, which is at present valued at Rs 20 lakh. I propose to dispose it off and invest the sale process in my partially build plot (one room) so as to complete it. For this purpose, I may have to demolish the structure already raised on the plot to fit in revised plan or make additions. Kindly advise on the following points.

a) Whether I can use the capital gains available on the sale of house on the construction/completion of plot and save tax?

b) In case tax on capital gains is payable what will be the amount involved?

c) Whether the long-term capital gains can be adjusted against the exemption limit of Rs 1.85 lakh allowed to senior citizens?

— Ramesh Chand

A. The answers to your queries are as under: -

a) The capital gain earned on the sale of the house would be exempt from tax under Section 54 of the Act in case the same is utilised towards the acquisition or the construction of a residential house.

b) It is not possible to compute the capital gain as well as tax payable thereon as the fair market value of the property as on April 1, 1981 has not been provided in the query. The house having been acquired in 1978, the relevant section provides for an option to adopt such value instead of the cost incurred for acquiring the property. The indexation will have to be done on the basis of such value.

c) In case the long-term capital gain earned is within the limit of Rs 1.85 lakh, the same would not be chargeable to tax.

Interest on home loan also exempted

Q. I am a Punjab Government employee posted at Mohali. I borrowed a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh from LIC Housing Finance Ltd in 1995 to construct the ground floor of my house at Haripur, Sector-4, Panchkula. I am availing the relief on interest under Section 24 (property being self occupied) and rebate on principal amount repaid under Section 80C.

To construct the first floor of same house I again borrowed a sum of Rs 4 lakh from LIC Housing Finance Ltd. In March 2006. The construction has been completed and would be used for my own residential purposes. I have no other property in my name or in the name of my family members any where in India. Kindly advise me whether I am eligible for the relief under Section 24 on the amount of interest paid on this amount (Rs 4 lakh) and rebate under Section 80C on the principal amount repaid, along with the relief and rebate already being availed of on the amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh borrowed earlier for the construction of the ground floor of the same house under the respective sections.

— Sanjay Gulati, Mohali

A. Section 24 of the Income-tax Act 1961 (The Act) which deals with deduction from income from house property provides where the property has been acquired, constructed, repaired, renew or re-constructed with the borrowed funds, the amount of any interest payable on such borrowed funds shall be allowed as deduction subject to be limits prescribed in the said section. One of the limits so provided is that in case of interest payable in respect of a sum borrowed for the acquisition or construction of the property after the first day of April 1999 and where the construction is completed within 3 years from the end of the financial year in which capital was borrowed, the deduction for the interest payable would not exceed Rs 1,50,000. In respect of the deduction allowable under section 80C of the Act, the only requirement is that total deduction allowable under Section 80C of the Act should not exceed of Rs 1 lakh.

In my view, therefore, you should be entitled to a deduction from income from house property in respect of interest payable on the amount borrowed for the construction of the first floor of the residential house subject to the complying with requirements contained in the said section. You should also be entitled to the deduction of the amount repaid from your total income, during the year towards the principle amount subject, however, to the limit of 1,00,000 provided in Section 80C of the Act.

Rebate on home loan on ancestral property to owner

Q. Please clarify the following points for the purpose of taking income tax benefit on housing loan: -

Ownership Share: 25 per cent in the name of father (ancestral property) Rest 75 per cent in the name of mother (purchase from other legal heirs of ancestral property).

1. Father and mother alive.

2. We are only two brother, both married

3. We want to build new house after demolishing the old house (ancestral property)

If we brothers take housing loan jointly from bank with one brother as a co-applicant, can we get income tax rebate without the property actually being transferred in our name? If our spouses (both working) also take loan jointly with us, will we all be eligible for income tax benefit as per Section 80C?

If the answer to above query is No, then please guide me the procedure.

— Vivek, Rishikesh

A. The deduction in respect of interest payable on the amount borrowed on the construction and acquisition of the house is allowed to the owner of the house property. The deduction under Section 80C for the repayments made in respect of the amount borrowed for the acquisition or construction of the house is also allowable to the person in whose hands the income from house property is taxable which in other words would mean the owner of the property. Accordingly, in my view until and unless the house is transferred in your name and your brother’s name, the deduction for the interest or the repayment of the amount borrowed shall not be allowable to you and your brother. In case you are interested that the benefit should be allowed to the spouses also, they should also be the owners or co-owners of the property for the purpose of availing the aforesaid benefit.

Gift property sale proceeds to kin instead of jt. account

Q. I have sold some of my rural agricultural land. I have one son and one daughter (married). I want to give some amount out of it to my daughter as her share of my property because she has every right for it. It is not a donation but her right. I want to keep this amount in a bank in our joint names with my name and my daughter’s name as former or survivor (or either or survivor) to avail benefit of interest being senior citizen and ex-bank employee. Is it possible? Please advise whether the interest earned will be accounted in my income or in the income of my daughter?

—Subedar Harnek Singh, Sangrur

A. The amount of interest earned on the amount deposited with the bank would be taxed in your hands in case the deposit is made in your name as first holder of the account and your daughter’s name as a joint holder of the account. I may add that the reflection of the joint name in the bank deposit does not lead to be ownership of the amount by the joint holder. Normally first holder of the account is taken as the owner of the funds and the second holder as a person who would be entitled to receive the amount in case of the death of the first holder. The ownership of the property is to be decided on the basis of the law of inheritance provided for in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. In my view therefore it would be better to gift the amount that you intend to give her.

No formal declaration needed if getting rebate u/s 24, 80-C

Q. We purchased a built house in 2003 in Panchkula in the joint name of my son and myself. The house is also registered in the both our names. There is no formal declaration with respect to the share in the property. We both are availing IT benefit in the ratio of 50:50 under Section 24 on the interest component and Section 80C for the principal amount for the last 3 years. The IT returns have so far been accepted with this ratio of sharing. Though we have a joint account in the bank from which the EMIs are being paid, the entire amount in this account is being deposited by my son.

Kindly clarify the following: -

(i) Is it necessary to make a formal declaration regarding the share of each of us in the property and if so then how?

(ii) Are we supposed to give a formal intimation to the IT department with respect to the share of each of us in the property?

(iii) What should be the proportionate share of each of us since I am not contributing any money towards payment of EMIs?

(iv) Can we, at any time in future, change the share equation or say when I become a senior citizen (attain the age of 65) in November 2007?

—S.P. Mittal, Panchkula

A. The answers to your queries are as under: -

(i) In my view the formal declaration with regard to the share of each of you in the property has been made in terms of declaration made before the Income-tax authorities under Section 22 and 80C of the Act.

(ii) Your share of EMIs paid by your son shall be treated as amount of loan to you by your son. It can also be treated as a gift to you for which simple letters can be exchanged by you and your son for making and accepting the gift.

(iii) In my view, it would not be in your interest to change the equation already accepted by the tax department as it may lead to the reopening of earlier assessments. In case you want to make a change from November, 2007 onwards it would be better to execute a gift deed in favour of your son to the extent of share to be ceded by you. Such deed should be registered with the sub registrar and would involve the payment of the duty on the market value of the share of property to be ceded to your son.

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