MUMBAI: Private trusts and institutions that have taken government land on lease for public purposes but have failed to start construction work on time, will have to pay dearly now. Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday cleared a proposal to hike the extension fee to be paid for delay in construction beyond three years.
The fee will range from 2% to 10% of the ready reckoner rate (RR) depending on the number of years for which extension has been sought. The revenue department will soon notify the new provisions and rules.
A revenue department official said, “Now, allottees will have to pay 2% of the ready reckoner rate per year for an extension of two years and then the fee will increase to 3%, 5% 7% and 10% for every two-year extension. Extensions can only be given up to 10 years, and even then if construction hasn’t commenced, the land will be taken back.”
These allotments are done at nominal rates and the lease agreement mentions that the construction on the plot should start within three years of the hand over of the land. TOI had, in a series of reports, highlighted how some trusts had misused these plots by sub-letting the space to third parties.
Currently, the collector can give an extension of maximum of two years (five years since the allotment) and charge a fee of 10 times the land revenue and a penalty amounting to 20 times the land revenue, which works out to be paltry amounts— so the lessee is not taxed for failing to provide the facility for which the land was allotted.
Many of these trusts were allotted public lands in the past, but failed to commence work for years. More than one lakh plots in the state have been leased out, and construction work on 5-6% of them haven’t even begun, said an official from the revenue department. These lands are given on lease and occupancy rights to individuals and trusts for educational, cultural, medicinal, industrial and even residential purposes.
Cabinet Oks de-reserving grazing land
The state cabinet has also allowed de-reserving of grazing land to make way for infrastructure projects by the government as well as private players. Currently there is a ban on de-reserving on these patches of land after a Supreme Court which makes it mandatory for the state government’s to protect these plots for the welfare of the animals. The government has mentioned that if a private player acquires a grazing land, then he should give a land in the same village of the same value and double the area in return.
Credits ET Realty