Thiruvananthapuram: You are mistaken if you think the latest hike in building permit fee is applicable only for new one sought from the local self-government body in Kerala. The recent hike is applicable for new building permits as well as for renewal.
Officials clarified that the new rates would be applicable for permits that are going to be renewed as well. The Local Self- Government Department (LSGD) cleared the air regarding the old permits through an order on Saturday.
Even when existing permits for building constructions are renewed in local bodies, new fees will have to be paid, officials said. If the permit is renewed before the expiry date, only 10% of the new rate is to be paid, otherwise, 50% will have to be paid, they added.
In the case of small houses in panchayats, the permit fee has been increased from Rs 525 to Rs 7,500, while for big houses, the hike ranges from Rs 1,750 to Rs 25,000.
In the town areas, the permit fee has been hiked from Rs 750 to Rs 15,000 in the case of small houses, while for big houses, it has been raised to Rs 37,500 from Rs 2500. The Government has informed that the building rules will be suitably amended towards this end.
Earlier, building permits were issued for three years but a 2019 amendment extended it to five years. A three-year permit could be renewed up to three times. After it was made for five years, it can be renewed only once. After obtaining the permit in advance, the construction of the building is delayed due to various reasons and renewal becomes necessary.
At the same time, although an order has been issued that old fees need to be levied on those who have applied for new permits till April 9, the necessary changes are yet to be made in the software. The work towards the same is in progress, the officials said.
No call on refund yet
No decision has been taken to refund the higher fees already levied on old applicants. However, the same is before the consideration of the Government, M B Rajesh, Minister of the Local Self- Government Department (LSGD), said.
After April 10, the local bodies in Kerala got crores of rupees in income. A good percentage of this is the additional fees received from old applicants.