Vimal Punmiya, one of the country’s leading experts on property matters, shared his insights on almost each and every matter with regard to co-operative housing societies, and more
On Tuesday, Moneylife Foundation conducted a seminar in Mumbai on one of the most contentious subjects in the city-co-operative housing society rules.
Mr Vimal Punmiya, a chartered accountant with more than 34 years of experience and an expert on property matters, shared his extensive knowledge on four main topics with regard to co-operative housing societies-bye-laws, stamp duty charges and registration rules, income-tax laws and accounting provisions, along with norms related to wills, nominations and transmission.
The response was overwhelming. The audience was fascinated by the depth and range of Mr Punmiya's observations, which touched upon almost each and every aspect regarding co-operative housing societies.
For a matter as important as housing, the laws in India are in complete disarray and Maharashtra is no exception. These laws-especially those governing co-operative housing societies-are extremely arbitrary, frequently-changing and subject to innumerable interpretations.
Mr Punmiya helped to clear the fog, but even the marathon 120-minute session was not enough, and the audience kept asking the obliging expert for much more.
It is really a matter of concern that the country's mass media has almost never touched upon the topics that Moneylife Foundation along with Mr Punmiya, managed to highlight.
Explaining the basic concept of a co-operative housing society, Mr Punmiya said, "Under a co-operative housing society, you are much superior to tenants (as far as your title is concerned) but inferior to the landlord. The society is the owner of the property and members only have a certain share of the society." This means that despite having a clear title to property, residents of co-operative societies are often left in limbo whenever any kind of dispute crops up.
On the current scenario with regard to co-operative societies in the state, Mr Punmiya said, "In Maharashtra, there are 60,000 housing societies, out of which 35,000 are in Mumbai. And out of these 35,000 societies, for about 28,000 societies, builders have not (properly) conveyed property to these societies."
He also pointed out how society laws were frequently amended in the past, and ran the audience through the difference between the old bye-laws and new modern bye-laws.
"Under old bye-laws, housing societies, which were formed up to 1984, had rights to make their own laws. However, after 1984, modern bye-laws were introduced. Societies which don't want to follow their own bye-laws can adopt the modern bye-laws. Societies formed before 1984 can also follow the modern bye-laws. In 2001, the new modern bye-laws were introduced," Mr Punmiya said. He also explained the rules under the new modern bye-laws. "Joint ownership is recognised in the new modern bye-laws," he said.
Mr Punmiya went on to explain various other aspects of a co-operative housing society's laws and the rights of the residents. He also fleshed out other issues relating to stamp duty and registration and explained the importance of conveyance of property.
He talked about stamp duty on lease agreements and leave & license agreements. He also explained the process of property registration and guided the audience on wills, nominations and transmission of property in co-operative housing societies.
Mr Punmiya's exhaustive session was followed by an extensive and interactive question & answer session-where numerous questions were asked, and in-depth answers were given by the speaker in his inimitable style.
Mr Punmiya has written a number of books on subjects like transfer of flats, stamp duty, registration, and capital gains. Moneylife Foundation will continue to host such seminars on topics which affect the life of the common citizen.
Pictures of the event
Those seeking help or advice on CHS issues can contact Moneylife Foundation’s Legal Resource Centre (LRC) ( http://moneylife.in/lrc.html )
Around 2,00,000 people are killed yearly on Indian roads; the country has barely 15% of the world’s road facilities
The government of India and the World Bank have come together to launch a road-safety initiative to reduce the high and increasing number of fatalities and serious injuries on Indian roads. An average of 550 Indians are killed in road accidents each day and the government estimates that the situation may deteriorate with rapid motorisation and traffic growth unless safety measures are rapidly integrated into the road-development program.
The project, which will implement the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), will assist the ministry of road transport and highways and state Public Works Departments (PWDs) in Assam, Gujarat and Karnataka to improve road safety on 3,000km of high-risk roads.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 200,000 people are killed yearly on Indian roads. This represents 15% of the world's road fatalities, despite the fact that India has only 1% of the world's motor vehicles. A large number of these fatalities are attributed to poor road design and lack of protective features for road users. With economic development and motorisation, this number will most likely increase in the coming years unless efficient measures are implemented. In fact, India has overtaken China to top the world in road fatalities and continues to pull steadily ahead. In comparison, road deaths in China, despite its own auto boom, have been falling for much of the past decade, to 73,500 in 2008.
There is a need for a programme that will assess the safety of these roads and propose measures to improve them. The government's Sundar Committee Report on Road Safety and Traffic Management (2007) made a comprehensive assessment of the road safety situation and provided detailed recommendations to make Indian roads safer for all. The iRAP project is part of the World Bank's ongoing efforts to help the government implement the Sundar Committee's key recommendations.
Speaking at the project launch in New Delhi, World Bank country director Roberto Zagha said, "No other country has ever had such a high number of vulnerable road users. Given the scale of this unique challenge, India cannot afford to emulate the slow path to safer roads taken by the high-income countries; rapid and innovative action is needed if a major public health crisis is to be averted."
The India project will inspect more than 3,000km of national and state highways sections in Assam, Gujarat and Karnataka. It will also use the latest digital imaging technology on the identified stretches to bring in cost-effective improvements that could help reduce road deaths and injuries on these roads. "The inspections will help identify affordable improvements that can dramatically reduce road death and injury. We know, for example, that the provision of flexible posts in the centre of the road can significantly reduce head-on crashes," said iRAP Asia Pacific regional director Greg Smith.
While the World Bank, through its multi-donor Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) will finance and oversee the iRAP Project in India, the Australian Road Research Group and India Road Survey and Management will assist state PWDs in Assam, Karnataka and Gujarat in its implementation.
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