Every flat buyer has to pay 14 to 16 per cent fees for registration. This is a huge burden, especially when the prices of flats have gone out of the affordable range of most people, who are in fact the main buyers. The fees would push the price of flats even higher and bring the sales down.
Many buyers feel reluctant to complete registration due to the exorbitant fees. As a result, the government also loses revenue.Given the reality of the high cost of finance and construction materials, the sale of flats is at low ebb due to high prices the developers want. The illogically high registration fees continue to make the situation even worse. Also, it is not rational to increase the registration fee when it remains only 4 to 7 per cent in other South Asian countries.
In the pre-budget proposal, the leaders of the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) proposed NBR a slash to 6.5 per cent instead of the current 15.5 per cent registration fees for the vibrancy of the industry. It also called for the introduction of a secondary housing market in line with the secondary market for used cars to ease the change of ownership of flats as, it is believed, this will reduce the cost of flats.
The real estate industry continues to help tackle housing problem, create employment and contribute to the GDP. But, the burdensome fees remain a major barrier to its growth; hence this goes against job creation and country's GDP growth. Thus, the revision of the registration fees is the demand of the hour.
The government is committed to ensuring favourable policy support for the industrial growth of the country. Reducing the tax would add to the process and boost the real estate business. Hopefully, the government will give an ear to help both new flat buyers and developers.