Pune, 27th December 2023: The Maharashtra State Government, through a circular dated December 11, has introduced the Abhay Yojana to grant concessions on stamp duty deficiency and penalties related to underpaid stamp duty. The scheme, operational in the first phase until January 31, 2024, aims to provide financial relief to citizens involved in property transactions.
The Abhay Yojana covers the period from December 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, implemented in two phases. The first phase spans from December 1, 2023, to January 31, 2024, and the second phase from February 1 to March 31, 2024. Citizens, unable to apply for exemption in the first phase, have the opportunity to do so in the second phase, albeit with reduced benefits.
As per the Government Order dated December 7, 2023, published in the Maharashtra Gazette, the Revenue and Forest Department issued a circular on December 11, providing detailed instructions on the Abhay Scheme. The scheme offers complete waiver of underpaid stamp duty and penalty for bills executed between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 2000, where the underpaid stamp duty is less than Rs. 1 lakh.
For underpayment of stamp duty exceeding Rs. 1 lakh during the same period, the scheme provides a 50% exemption in the underpaid stamp duty and complete waiver of the penalty. In the case of deeds executed between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2020, a rebate of up to 25% is applicable on the underpayment of stamp duty, with penalties waived up to a limit of Rs. 25 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. Penalties exceeding this amount will be entirely waived.
To avail the Stamp Duty Abhay Yojana, property transfer deeds must be executed on stamp paper of any amount. The government has emphasized that without this essential step, applicants cannot apply for the scheme’s benefits.
The government aims to extend the benefits of the Abhay Yojana to the maximum number of citizens, instructing the stamp duty department to issue demand notices within 15 days of receiving written applications. Citizens who have already received demand notices are encouraged to apply for the discount under the Abhay Yojana promptly.
To ensure the effective implementation of the Stamp Duty Abhay Scheme, a special control room has been established at the office of the Inspector General of Registration, along with the concerned Collector of Stamps.
Applicants for the Abhay Yojana can submit applications in person or online at the offices of the concerned Collector of Stamps or Sub-Registrar. Comprehensive information about the scheme and application forms are available on the Stamps Department’s website (https://igrmaharashtra.gov.in) and at the offices of all Stamp Collectors and Sub-Registrars.
After benefiting from the Abhay Yojana, citizens are urged to proactively deposit the underpaid stamp duty on property transfers to the government exchequer. Failure to comply may result in the auction of the property under Section 46 of the Stamp Act, with the government forcefully recovering the unpaid stamp duty.
For deeds executed with the intent of evading stamp duty knowingly, the government has issued clear instructions to propose civil-criminal action against the concerned parties under Section 59 and Section 62 of the Stamp Act.
The Maharashtra Government has appealed to citizens to regularize all transactions involving underpaid stamp duty promptly through the Abhay Yojana to avoid any forced recovery actions by the government. The Abhay Yojana is expected to facilitate reasonable stamping for the transfer of immovable income deeds, promoting redevelopment and providing opportunities for citizens to live in new houses.
Additionally, the scheme aims to expedite the deemed conveyance process for registered co-operative housing societies, promote the restructuring, amalgamation, or demerger of companies, and contribute to the economic and social development of the state.
For citizens encountering any issues regarding participation in the Abhay Yojana, the government encourages direct contact with the office of the Stamp Collector or Sub-Registrar of the concerned district or the registration and stamp department call center at 8888007777.