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SBCA raises betterment charges by 1,000pc

SBCA raises betterment charges by 1,000pc

KARACHI: The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has raised betterment charges by over 1,000 per cent for builders and developers while residential consumers will pay a high amount under the new amended regulations.

A contractor said that a consumer would now have to pay an additional amount of Rs1.2m to Rs4m for buying a three-storey house (commonly called ground plus two). No betterment charges will be applicable for one-unit bungalow of up to two storeys.

The new charges would be levied on all the proposed building plans approved for the Karachi division with effect from Aug 12, 2016.




Under the proposed amendments to the regulations, the SBCA has increased betterment charges for A-1 and other six categories.

Asif Sumsum, chairman of the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) for the southern region, said that betterment charges on a 5,000-square-yard plot located in high-density zone having ratio of 1:9 had been increased to Rs125m from Rs7.5m. Moreover, the builder has to have his own power generation, desalination plant, etc.

On a commercial plot measuring 2,000 sq yards located in A1 category, for which betterment charges were already recovered, builders will have to pay an additional Rs20m under the new notification.

On a converted commercial plot of 2,000 sq yards, builders will now pay Rs20m compared to Rs4.9m earlier, he said. “Builders have already paid the commercialisation charges at the time of conversion of the plot which has to be used for improvement of infrastructure. They cannot be charged twice with a different name. This is double taxation,” he argued.

Betterment charges for a commercial plot of 25,000 sq yards (around 5 acres) located in scheme 33 will be more than Rs61m. He added that the value of plot was also not even close to the amount of proposed betterment charges in many areas in the city’s outskirts.

This is in addition to scrutiny charges, structure charges, vetting charges, advertisement charges, 1pc security charges, sale no-objection certificate charges and other miscellaneous charges, he said.

“This substantial hike may bring construction activity to a complete halt, increasing unemployment, fall of revenue and rise in slums and katchi abadis,” Mr Sumsum said.

He said the increase in betterment charges had been notified without consulting the stakeholders and imposed also on plots of Karachi Development Authority townships and DP schemes.

He urged the SBCA for unconditional withdrawal of the said notification.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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