With eye on BMC polls, state govt won’t amend the rent act

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Two weeks af­ter it de­cided to re­vive plans to amend the Maharashtra Rent Con­trol Act, 1999 and lift the freeze on the rent for old prop­er­ties in Mum­bai, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state govern­ment beat a hasty re­treat on Thurs­day. Fear­ing stiff political op­po­si­tion ahead of the 2017 civic polls, the govern­ment with­drew its plans to amend the con­tro­ver­sial leg­is­la­tion.

State hous­ing min­is­ter Prakash Me­hta said there was no such pro­posal un­der the govern­ment’s con­sid­er­a­tion, two weeks af­ter chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis chaired a meet­ing in which the pro­posal was given a nod. The amend­ment would have in­creased rents for homes above 860 sqft feet and com­mer­cial spa­ces above 500 sqft and brought it on a par with mar­ket rents in th­ese ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by ten­ant as­so­ci­a­tions — which the govern­ment has re­jected — this would have led to rents shoot­ing up 2,500 times in res­i­den­tial and 5,000 times in com­mer­cial spa­ces. HT had ear­lier re­ported how the hous­ing depart­ment had ar­gued the amend­ment would only pinch the creamy layer.



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