India: rebate for Mumbai’s property tax

Certified green buildings in Mumbai could soon get up to 20 per cent discount on property tax as per a proposal being considered by the municipal corporation to incentivise environment-friendly buildings.

Officials said the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the civic body of the country’s most expensive property market, is discussing the proposal with Indian Green Building Council that envisages a discount on property tax paid by developers and residents, and aims to boost demand for eco-friendly and energy-conserving structures.

“This will work for sure. We are currently discussing with the MCGM the quantum of discount to be offered to residents and developers of green buildings. The civic body is serious about this proposal and its expected impact,” S Raghupathy, executive director of Indian Green Buildings Council told ET.

Raghupathy said there are examples of civic and state bodies like those in Noida, Chandigarh and West Bengal, where construction of green buildings is encouraged through additional floor space index of 5-10 per cent and the measure has worked well in these regions. Floor space index refers to permissible development of any plot of land. An email query sent to MCGM remained unanswered till late evening on Tuesday.

A green or sustainable building involves a structure and process of constructing the structure that is resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout a building’s life cycle from design, construction and operations to maintenance.

According to the India Green Building Council, green real estate in India has grown from 20,000 sq ft in 2003 to over 3 billion sq ft of registered and certified projects in 2015. Of this, Mumbai alone accounts for 20 per cent, or 600 million square feet, of green projects without any incentives offered by the government.

Green office spaces account for 200 million square feet in India, primarily in the 10 major cities. A typical 100,000 sq ft green office building saves the occupier Rs 30-40 lakh in a year on energy alone, said Rajat Malhotra, COO -integrated facilities management (West Asia) at JLL India. Savings in water could be close to half this amount, he said.

Green offices are 20-30 per cent more efficient in the use of water and energy than conventional offices, said Malhotra. However, rentals are 2-3 per cent higher for green offices, he said, citing a study conducted in seven major cities.

Source: The Economic Times

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