CAG questions transfer of lands to trusts in J&K
Jammu: The Comptroller and Auditor General has claimed that prime lands in Jammu and Kashmir were allegedly transferred at concessional rate to various trusts though the lands were under commercial use, causing huge losses to the state exchequer.
"It was observed that (Prime) lands in Srinagar were transferred to Khidmat trust (7 kanals, 15 Marlas and 84 square feet at Kothibagh) and Nawai-e-Subah Trust (3 kanalas, 16 Marlas at Zero Bridge) at concessional rate applicable to lands under institutional use though the lands were under commercial use", the CAG report tabled in the state legislature`s recently concluded Budget Session, said.
CAG further said, "The market rate fixed by the committee for the lands was Rs 110 lakh per kanal in case of Khidmat trust and was Rs 120 lakh per kanal in case of Nawai-e-Subah Trust. But these were rebated by 85 percent and transferred at Rs 16 Lakh per kanal and Rs 18 lakh per kanal (to these trusts)".
"Thus, lands valued by the Committees (Price Committee headed by the Kashmir Divisional Commissioner) at Rs 13.10 crore were approved for transfer at a price of Rs 1.97 crore against which Rs 1.47 crore had been collected", the report said.
The report pointing to the then government of Ghulam Nabi Azad for alleged irregularities in land transfer under JK Roshni Act said, "Properties are being used for commercial purposes and Rule 13 of Roshni Rules 2007, provide application of commercial rates even if only a part of the land is used for commercial purposes".
"In contravention of the said provisions of the Act, lands were transferred to seven `institutional entities` in Srinagar with no safeguards...", the report said.
The Section 12 of the amended Roshni Act 2007 contemplated that the land under `institutional use` could be allowed to be transferred even in excess of 10 kanals to unauthorised occupants. However, rules framed by the then government (under Azad rule) expanded the scope of concessions available to occupants of lands under institutional use, the CAG said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Revenue Ajaz Ahmed Khan has defended the former Azad government in the wake of CAG`s claim that it framed rules in violation of the Roshni Act.
Hitting out at the CAG, the Congress minister said that its report, which forms the basis of the allegations, was "speculative".
He added that the State Vigilance Organisation had already started a probe into the matter and the J&K government would cooperate with the same.
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