In order to promote the construction of more eco-friendly buildings, the Karnataka state government has proposed to provide an array of incentives, including bringing down the property tax and stamp duty on such structures.
Under the proposed Karnataka Green Building Incentive Policy, the perks will be applicable for both residential and commercial buildings and the urban development department (UDD) is emulating policies put in place by states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Sikkim.
Confirming the move, Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, UDD, said: “We are working on this policy. The idea is to achieve energy efficiency, effective waste management and reduction of water consumption through the building’s life cycle that includes design, construction, maintenance and renovation. These buildings will have rainwater harvesting, garbage disposal plant, sewerage treatment plant and solar power.”
Sources involved in drafting the policy say green buildings will be incentivized based on benchmarks set by green building certification systems like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), IGBC (Indian Green Building Council), GRIHA(Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) and EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies).
Green buildings having a five star or platinum rating would get 10% discount in property tax for three years. Similarly, it’ll be 7.5% for buildings with four-star or gold rating and 5% for three-star or silver-rated properties.
The incentive will continue beyond three years if the structure follows the green building rating/certification. Similarly, stamp duty will also be reduced by 1% on purchase of apartments in green certified projects. The government will further reduce taxes and charges on purchase of green buildings and environmental clearances for such structures will also be fast-tracked.
While it may not be practically possible to restrict the spread of concrete jungles in our cities, it is necessary to ensure that sustainability is the guiding principle for all development. The state government’s idea to incentivize green builders and home buyers should be implemented at the earliest for the simple reason that the environment is being overexploited and there is dire need for some damage control. Eco-friendly infrastructure is the only way forward, especially for future generations to survive. Even in the absence of incentives, the burgeoning real estate sector must embrace more green measures on its own. This booster from the government now will hopefully show green results in future.