The state urban development department last week issued the state’s new green building policy under which, builders and housing societies obtaining the green building certificate can seek rebates on taxes and development charges.
According to the policy, builders can avail rebate of up to 10 per cent on development charges and societies or home buyers can get a rebate on property tax up to 10 per cent.
A senior state government official said that the department has invited public suggestions and objections on the policy and will soon conduct hearings.
“Property buyers in green buildings will be entitled to a property tax rebate for a period of five years from securing the Occupancy Certificate (OC) based on the green building rating of the property. Depending on the rating of the property, the rebate amount will be fixed. Buyers of homes in a five-star or platinum rating would get rebate of 10 per cent in property tax while those with four-star or gold and three-star or silver ratings would get rebate of 7.5 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively in the property tax,” the official said.
BJP legislator, Ameet Satam, who has first pitched for a green policy welcomed the move. “This was the need of the hour. The green policy will promote eco-friendly buildings and it will give an incentive for people and developers to buy and build green buildings. The state government must promote this policy, especially in urban areas where there is a severe stress on the environment. This is a step towards sustainable development and has many aspects like solar panels, sewerage treatments plants, organic waste converts and green facades to reduce electricity consumption,” Satam said. Satam had demanded a green building policy in July this year.
Officials said that despite the state government’s push for the green buildings policy, local municipal corporation will have to offer additional incentives at its level over and above the incentives mentioned by the state government. “Only then can the policy be more effective. Big municipal corporations like the BMC must give additional benefits given the scale and cost if development in the city,” the official explained.
Officials said the policy would also provide rebate on development charges to developers securing a green building certification from empowered agencies in accordance to the rating secured by them.
Those with the platinum rating would get rebate of 7.5 per cent in the development charges while those with gold and silver ratings would get rebate of 5 and 2.5 per cent, respectively in development charges.
“Green buildings lead to a marginal increase in the construction cost and the government, taking cognizance of it, has offered incentives to developers to ensure that the extra cost is not passed down to the consumer. The consumers are also given incentives to nudge them towards green developments through regular buildings,” officials said.
Officials said that municipal corporations must modify its standard operating procedure for building permissions to reflect the changes mentioned in the policy.
The developer may apply for a refund of the development charges after submission of the final certificate. The corporation will have to maintain the list of green buildings to ensure that the property tax rebate are reflected directly into the tax invoice.
The state government would soon be signing an MoU with TERI-GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) and GBCI-LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to certify the buildings as green buildings, officials said.
“The policy would be applicable to all upcoming commercial as well as residential buildings. Commercial buildings include offices, IT parks, banks, shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, airports, stadiums, convention centres, education institutes, libraries and museums,” another official said.
Green activists said the building industry accounts for 40 per cent of global energy and water consumption and almost 48 per cent of solid waste generated.
The green buildings have benefits of reduction in water and energy consumption. Energy saving ranges from 20 to 30 per cent while water savings from 30 to 50 per cent.
Citizens having any suggestions or objections on the draft policy should submit it within a period of one month from now.