FAR Amendment Bill passed by Karnataka Legislature with Council's nod amid walkout by BJP

Bengaluru, Feb 23 (IANS): A Bill, which provides for sale and purchase of premium floor area ratio (FAR), has been passed by the Karnataka legislature with the Legislative Council's assent on Thursday after a marathon debate and walkout by the BJP members.

The Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill 2024, which has been already passed by the Assembly was tabled in the upper house by Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who also holds Bengaluru City Development portfolio.

The lawallows developers to build additional floors by purchasing additional FAR and paying a fee of 40 per cent of the guidance value to the local planning authorities. It also allows sale of FAR.

The premium FAR has been limited to 0.4 per cent, while the limit for the Transferable Development Right (TDR) is at 0.6 per cent.

Premium FAR provision is expected to increase revenue to local planning authorities, which, therefore, can invest more in developmental works. The Bill provides for the proceeds from premium FAR fees to be used for land acquisition and development of basic amenities. The FAR is currently determined on the basis of the road width, zones and other parameters, Shivakumar said.

Arguing that additional construction due to additional FAR may result in congestion on smaller roads, BJP member K.S. Naveen sought the government's re-llok on the matter, while his colleague Keshavaprasaid said: "This will increase strain on Bengaluru’s infrastructure and hence the government should pass the Bill only after detailed deliberation by a review committee."

In his response to the Opposition members, Shivakumar said: "I will clarify all your doubts and I am ready to consider your suggestions. We have only simplified the law introduced by the previous BJP government in order to benefit everyone in the state and enhance revenues for local planning authorities. The previous Bommai government was also planning to amend this law.

"This is an existing law, we have just made some amendments. The premium FAR has been in effect in Mangaluru for some time now and additional revenue of Rs 2,000-3,000 crore has come in the last 5-6 years. The amendment bill extends this to the rest of the state."

Leader of the Opposition in Council Kota Srinivas Poojari, along with other BJP members, then walked out of the House saying: “It is better to hold the Bill and carry out all the discussions. Discuss the Bill and re-table it once again. This Bill will give all the powers to the bureaucrats"

The Legislative Council also passed the BBMP Property Tax Amendment Bill 2024 today. The Bill, which halved the penalties on property tax, was passed in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.




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Title: FAR Amendment Bill passed by Karnataka Legislature with Council's nod amid walkout by BJP

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