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LAHORE: The city district administration has decided to launch a crackdown on all the builders, developers, sponsors and management of private housing societies involved in internal transfer of plots, houses and other kind of immovable properties to buyers unlawfully in violation of the Finance Act 2018.

Under the law, the city administration (sub-registrar) is empowered to seal any private housing scheme/society if its developer, sponsor or management internally transfers any plot/property to anyone without paying all government taxes (stamp duty etc).

“All sub-registrars of the Lahore metropolitan city are required to immediately start issuing notices to all such private entities and ensure halting this practice with immediate effect,” reads a press release issued by a spokesman for the city administration.

The managements of private housing societies make internal transfer of properties under Article 63-A of the Stamp Act-1899 that reads: “[TRANSFER OF RIGHT OR INTEREST RELATING TO AN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY]: That is to say transfer of a right or interest relating to an immovable property or an acknowledgement of such transfer, by a development authority, housing authority, statutory body, cooperative housing society, company or a developer and every instrument by which a right or interest relating to an immovable property is being transferred, registered, recorded or acknowledged by the authority, body, society, company or developer”.

However, according to an official, the 63-A schedule of the stamp act was ultimately amended in the light of certain sections of the finance act that binds both private and public entities to avoid making transfer of properties without payment of all necessary dues to the government under the law.

“They (developers) transfer properties on their own under the stamp act. But now this law is no more valid after the promulgation of Finance Act 2018 that stops them from doing so without payment of govt taxes. That’s why all sub-registrars in Punjab have been directed to stop such practices in housing societies. And in case someone doesn’t follow this direction, his/her residential society should be sealed,” a sub-registrar told Dawn.

Meanwhile, Lahore’s Additional Deputy Commissioner (general) Syed Tauqeer Kazmi told this reporter that all Lahore based sub-registrars have been directed to ensure production of private housing societies’ property transfer related record before him within a short span of time. “If private housing schemes, developers, sponsors etc continue avoiding our instructions, they must be ready for stern action,” Mr Kazmi warned.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2018