The Assembly unanimously passed the Indian Stamp (Telangana Amendment Bill) 2020 on Tuesday scrapping the discretionary powers of Inspector General of Stamps and Registrations and registrars in fixing the value of stamp duty.

The Bill amends Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act 1899 and gives that right to a committee headed by District Collector with district registrar as the convener, Municipal Commissioner, chief executive officer of the Zilla Parishad and DIG Stamps as members in urban areas.

Introducing the Bill, Minister for Legislative Affairs Vemula Prashanth Reddy said all these days if any citizen felt that the stamp duty was exorbitant, he would pay 50 per cent of the stamp duty and get the property registered. “In such cases, while the registration process is kept in abeyance, the registrar or the IG can take a decision based on the appeal made by the consumer. They can either increase or decrease the stamp duty which gave scope for corruption in some places,” he said.

He said the government, which had already introduced sweeping changes in the way registrations are done in the State through the new Revenue Act, had decided to move the discretionary powers to a committee. “However, once the committee decides the final stamp duty, the consumer must pay the entire duty and book a slot for registration,” he said. He made it clear that the registrar would not object if both the parties agree on registering a property quoting lower value than the value mentioned in the government book.

The Minister, answering a question by Zafar Hussain (MIM), said registration of properties would resume after the launch of the Dharani portal, which is scheduled for October 25. He also said the government would ensure that the poor are not burdened by the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS).

Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka demanded that the government scrap the LRS.

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