Know your Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC / MCGM)

An interesting set of questions and answers including the following :

  • What is the procedure for obtaining a certified copy of the building plan?
  • What is the procedure for enclosure of Balcony?
  • What is the procedure for filing an appeal for reducing the rateable value of the property?
  • Can a member covers the parking stilt?
  • What should a Flat holder do if the shop keeper on the ground floor is causing nuisance?
  • What should a Flat holder do if there is leakage from the upper flat?

Click Here to read the entire list – excellent for lay persons who want quick and accurate answers


Mumbai: Property Tax – 1000 Cr Loss to BMC

The BMC has failed and neglected to collect Rs.1000cr. plus amount in property tax. In this connection Watchdog Foundation has written letters to:
1) Comptroller Auditor General of India- to investigate loss to BMC on account of non levy of property tax on slum dwellers dispite signing agreement in 2006 between BMC, State Government and Government of India.
2) Mission Director, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission- to discontinue grant to BMC for their failure to introduce mandatory property tax reforms as agreed in the aforesaid agreement signed in 2006.
3) Municipal Commissioner, BMC, Municipal Chief Auditior, Assessor and Collector and others for loss of revenue to BMC.
4) We have also filed RTI applications with aforesaid authorities seeking details of the action taken by them.
It is relevant to state that the Municipal Corporations of Delhi,Chennai, Banglore, Kolkatta, etc. are charging property tax to the slums / jhuggis / zopadis then why BMC dispite signing agreement in 2006 is not collecting property tax. This amounts to deliberate and intentional ommission on the part of MC and others of BMC to recover the said property tax. As such we demand that thisloss occuring to BMC due to the neglect of MC and others should be recovered from their salaries.
The BMC has threatned to recover the property tax that is due with 24% p.a. interest from tax payers. Our question to BMC is that they should first recover
a) Rs.143 Cr. from railways, which it has not paid in taxes for last 15 years
b) Similar or more amount is also to be recovered from State Government
c) The builders owe Rs.628 Cr. out of which only Rs.8 Cr. has been paid. As such is the BMC going to recover Rs.620 Cr. with 24% interest from the builders (seeattached news report).
For Watchdog Foundation
Nicholas Almeida/Godfrey Pimenta (



Flat owners in a fix in Mumbai’s co-op housing societies

In land-starved Mumbai, managing committees of cooperative housing societies tango with builders to beat the law and browbeat flat owners by opting to redevelop buildings

According to legal and realty experts, while the laws are generally good, society MCs take advantage of sundry shortcomings to connive with builders at the time of executing redevelopment contracts. As a result, tens of redevelopment cases end up in courts. While cases between housing societies and their members land in cooperative courts, a feud among a society, its members and a third party goes to the high court.

At the ward/department level, there are lakhs of cases of such disputes.

The government’s taciturn approach does not help either – legal experts say the departments concerned turn a blind eye to the “dictatorial manner” in which MCs function by flouting laws and disregarding rules.


Many experts are of the view that the Redevelopment Directives of January 2009 U/S 79 are broad guidelines, and are one-sided – they are meant only for members to follow and lack any provision for penalty or punishment for the errant builders. Despite many projects being delayed, no builder has so far been put behind bars, prompting Dilip Shah, senior counsel, redevelopment, to quip, “This is a major lacuna. And builders know that a common man cannot afford to get into a long-drawn legal battle.”


Click Here for the full story


BMC wants 79A clearance from Registrar before approving redevelopment

BMC wants 79A clearance from Registrar before approving redevelopment

By Accommodation Times News Services

All the redevelopment plans put up by either builder or society itself for redevelopment must accompany a certificate from the Registrar of Co-operative Housing Society who have observed section 79A procedures laid down by Maharashtra Co-operative Society Act 1960.

The Brihan Mumbai Mahanagar Pallika will not entertain any proposal for redevelopment. Section 79A is guide lines set up by State Government of Maharashtra for smooth procedure and unbiased process for redevelopment for societies.

J.B.Patel (Jeby)


BMC Circular dt 15-04-2013 regd CHS Redevelopment (Marathi)
BMC Circular dt 15-04-2013 regd CHS Redevelopment (Unofficial English Translation)

CERS compels Whirlpool India to compensate harassed consumer

Ahmedabad, July 4th, 2013

Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS), a name synonymous with Consumer welfare, came to the rescue of complainant Kalpesh Parikh, who purchased an RO water purifier from Whirlpool India which was later on found to be defective within a few days of its purchase. Recently the matter was settled through Lok Adalat organized by Consumer Forum on 25/3/2013 and  as per the settlement,  Whirlpool India has agreed to pay a token amount of Rs.2000/- along with replacement of the damaged parts of the machine and extending the warranty cover for the damaged RO sold to Kalpesh Parikh. 

As per the case details, Kalpesh Parikh was facing major functionality problems with his recently purchased RO water purifier from Whirlpool India. However, his repeated attempts to get it repaired from Whirlpool went in vain as the company refused to pay heed to his complaints.

As a result of the constant neglect of Whirlpool India, Kalpesh Parikh approached CERS to intervene and resolve the matter. After verifying the case details, CERS was quick to react to the situation and lodged a complaint against Whirlpool India in the consumer forum.

As per the settlement arrived at Lok Adalat between both the parties it was agreed that   a technician from Whirlpool will  visit the complainant’s house and do the necessary repairs of the RO water purifier. Even if there are major repairs involved, it will be Whirlpool’s responsibility to have the machine repaired and returned to the complainant within 3 weeks from the date of initiating repairs.

Additionally, it was also decided that  Whirlpool will  give Kalpesh Parikh an extended warranty cover for the RO water purifier that will be considered valid from the day it is returned to the complainant in workable condition.

For further information please contact: Ms Pritee Shah (O) 079-27489945/46   

IFC to launch investment fund for Indian women SMEs

World Bank’s investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering a women’s investment fund programme aimed at investing in women-owned businesses globally through private equity funds, reports Business Standard.

The programme would help SMEs in India and Africa and mid-cap companies in Southeast Asia. However, the quantum of the fund has not been disclosed by the Corporation.

According to IFC, working through experienced fund managers with regional and corporate banking experience would help improve corporate governance and train women entrepreneurs to grow their companies and create more jobs.

Furthermore, IFC’s ‘Banking on Women’ programme supports access to finance and builds technical capacity for women through global and regional financial institutions. “Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of the global economy, helping to sustain job creation and economic growth. It is estimated that women-owned entities represent over 30 percent of registered businesses worldwide. Unfortunately, on average, only 5 to 10 percent of women-owned entities have access to commercial bank loans,” said IFC.

Click Here to learn more

The Latest Municipal Policy On Property Taxes

The Latest Municipal Policy On Property Taxes
By CA, Vimal Punmiya


1. New System of Property Taxes will be applicable with effect from 01.04.2010. in the present system, the property tax is based on Rateable Value fixed at the time when the building receives its occupation
 certificate and the same does not changes till the building is redeveloped and/or is given on Rent. But however, the percent of Property Tax goes up and as a result the rate of Property Taxes varies from 58% to 315%.

2. There is different rates chargeable to Non-Agricultural Land, Building under construction and Building ready for occupation (such as Flats, Office, industrial Galas, Godowns, shops, etc.) depending on the market value of property as per Ready Reckoner of Stamp Duty published by the Government of Maharashtra.

3. Once the Property Tax is fixed for a property, the same would be applicable for the next 5 years from the date of application.

4. If the Property tax as per the new system is much higher than the Property tax as per the old system, then the Society or the owner would have the option to write to the Municipal Corporation. The same cannot
 be more than double in the case of the Residential Property and three times in the case of a commercial property. The increase in the Property Tax after 5 years from the date of application cannot be more than 40% for the next 5 yrs. The same would not be applicable in the case of New Building.

5. The same rate of property tax would be applicable whether the property is self-occupied or given to others on the basis of Tenancy, leave and license, lease, caretaker, Business centre, etc in the present system. The same is approved by the Assembly and will be incorporated in the New System. The Officers of BMC have so much of powers that in the case of a let-out property, the Property tax can vary from 35% to 60%. In Pune, Kolkatta, Delhi, the Property tax is double of the normal property tax if the property is given on Tenancy, leave and license, etc.

6. Concessional rates will be applicable to Charitable Organizations such as School, Hospitals, Temples, etc.). In the case Government Offices for Central as well as State, Foreign Embassies, etc no property tax.

7. the property tax will not be on concessional basis in the case of a new building. However, the old building would enjoy a rebate from 5% to 75% depending on the age of the Building. But the after rebate value
 cannot be less than the value of the land plus the construction cost.

8. The New system of property tax is transparent and even the property owner can calculate the property tax payable by referring to the Stamp Duty Ready Reckoner. Hence, there would be less corruption.

9. As per the New System, the rates of property tax would be reduced in the Suburbs and increased in South Mumbai depending on the age of the building, floor, type of construction, etc payable on the Market Value of the property calculated as per Stamp Duty Ready Reckoner.

10. If the area of the Residential property is less than 500 sq. ft. (carpet area) then there would be no increase in the Property tax payable. Hence, the New System of property tax would not affect 70% of the
 Mumbaikars for atleast 5 yrs from the date of application.

11. If the property is lying vacant (i.e. if it is not in use) then the property owner can apply to the BMC and the property tax will be 40% for the normal property tax payable.

12. Further, the Property tax would be payable on the Built-up area of the property.

13. There are chances of error in Data collected by MCGM about the age of building, user type(residential, shop, office, etc.), carpet and built-up area of the premises, etc. in this event, society or property owner can
 file the complaint /objection with MCGM in prescribed format.

14. The complaint has to be filled with respective Municipal Ward office, with the assessment department. The complaint has to be filed within 21 Days of receipt of the property tax Bill. If you file complaint after 21
 days, please file the same with request for condonation of delay.

15. Format for complaint is already sent by MCGM along with the new property tax Bills. Pro-forma is attached herewith.

For more details please contact on Helpline 1278 / 022 23670624 or mail to : 

Click Here for more details

Click Here for sample complaint format
Courtesy : J.B.Patel (Jeby) Mobile:9820538570


Nagesh Kini, Moneylife Foundation


Electricity Companies to pay for actual quality coal

Electricity Companies to pay for actual quality coal- states CERS

Ahmedabad, 11th June, 2013

Consumer  Education  Research  Society  (CERS), the  most  active and  powerful  consumer  body  in power  sector of  India has  demanded  that  all  State  Electricity  Regulatory  Commissions  (SERCs)  should  direct  State  and  Private  Generation  Companies  of  respective  States to  pay  Coal  India  Ltd (CIL) for  actual  quality  and  quantity  of  coal  received  at  their  power  stations.  CERS requests Shri. Ashok  Chawla  Chairman  of  Competition Commission of  India (CCI)  and  Shri Jyotiraditya  Scindia  Hon’ble  Power  Minister  to  take  immediate  action  in  this  matter  to  protect  electricity  consumers  of  India  from  illegal  practices  being  followed  by  Coal  India  Ltd.

In present scenario the electricity  companies  are  paying  as  per  agreements  signed  with  CIL  for  C  or  D  grade  of  coal  which  has  calorific  value  ranging  from   4000   to  5000  kcal/ kg.  In  fact  CIL  is  supplying  them  inferior  quality  of  E & F  grade  of  coal  with  calorific  value  of  3000 – 3500  Kcal / Kg. Earlier also CERS  had  made  representation   before  Ministry  of  Power  and  Competition  Commission  of  India  to  direct  CIL  to  deliver  quality  of  coal  as  per  agreement.  The  Central  Generation  Company  National  Thermal  Power  Corporation  (NTPC)  recently  raised  this  issue  with  CIL  and  signed  fresh  agreement  where  NTPC  will  carry  out  joint  sampling of coal  either  at  CIL  end  or  NTPC  end  and  will  make  payment  to  CIL  as  per  actual  weight and  actual  calorific  value  of  coal  received  at  its  each  power  station. This  will  reduce  the  cost  of  coal  atleast  by  25-30%  thus  reducing  the  burden on  consumers  of  India.

CERS   demands  that  similar  agreements  should  be signed  between  State &  Private  generating  Companies  and  requests  all  SERCs  to  issue  such  directives  to  sign  revised  agreements  with  Coal  India  Ltd.  When State  Companies  have  already signed  similar  agreements  with  Foreign  Coal  Suppliers  then  they should follow similar agreements  with  Coal  India  Ltd.  It  is really shocking  that  this  burden  is  transferred  on consumers  by  SERCs through  Fuel  Cost  Adjustment  (FCA)  of  Fuel  Price  &  Power  Purchase  Adjustment  (FPPPA)  charges  which  are  revised  every  quarter  by  Electricity  Companies  in India.  These  malpractice  of  supplying  less  and  inferior  quality  of  coal  increases  coal  consumption  by  25-30 %.

CERS   recently   wrote  to   Gujarat  Electricity  Regulatory  Commission (GERC)  to  implement  similar  procedure  as  adopted  by  NTPC  and  directed   Gujarat  Urja  Vikas  Nigam  Ltd  (GUVNL) and  Torrent  Power  Ltd to  sign  fresh  agreement  in line  with  NTPC  to  reduce  burden  on consumers  of  Gujarat.  The  State  Entity  Gujarat  State  Electricity  Corporation  Ltd  (GSECL)  uses  0.75  to  0.8  Kg  of  coal  for  generation  of  one unit. In  practice  you  need  just  0.6  kg /Kwh  thus  increasing  coal  consumption.

CERS  has  warned  that if no  action is initiated  before  31st August  2013, then  CERS  will  initiate legal  action  and  file  Public  Interest  Litigation  (PIL)  before  Gujarat  High  Court  to  bring  logical  end  to  this  matter  where  Monopolies  are  exploiting  electricity  consumers  of  India  with Regulatory  Commissions  being  silent  spectators.

For further information please contact: K.K.Bajaj CGM (Hon)–CERS – AHMEDABAD

Email :