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Why is govt. losing money on 41% expired leases in Mumbai?

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  • karmayog - tanya
    http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_mumbai-41pct-of-island-city-leases-have-long-gone-expired_1801932 Mumbai: 41% of island city leases have long gone
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 19, 2013
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      http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_mumbai-41pct-of-island-city-leases-have-long-gone-expired_1801932

      Mumbai: 41% of island city leases have long gone expired

      Published: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013, 7:00 IST

      By Ashutosh Shukla | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

      Real estate prices have risen exponentially in the last decade, but the
      state government has inexplicably extended its largesse to those occupying
      prime plots of land in the island city where 40% of government leases have
      expired, some as far back as the 1950s. Of the 1,282 plots leased, the lease
      of 532 plots has expired and the government has not bothered to renew it.

      Located in south Mumbai, the real estate is fetching the government a paltry
      Rs48.82 crore annually from the 51.66 lakh sq mt of leased land. The data
      was provided after former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi
      filed an RTI query with the city collector.

      Apart from the 40% of leases that have expired, there are48 plots where
      there is neither a mention of when the lease deed was signed nor the number
      of years for which it was leased out. In the case of 55 plots, the lease
      period is not mentioned while three plots do not mention the date of signing
      the deed.

      The Mumbai Port Trust is among the lessees whose lease period is not
      mentioned for the 76,101 sq mt of land given in 1935. Adarsh Co-Operative
      Housing Society is among those whose deed mentions neither the date of
      signing nor the period of lease. However, the plot accounts for the largest
      lease rent the state earns - Rs18.5 crore annually for about9,000 sq mt of
      land. This is the only figure somewhere close to the market value of the
      land.

      Mulaji Haridas, who holds 404.68 sq mt of land in Colaba, continues to pay
      Rs0.06 per year. Its lease expired in 1954.

      "There is a major problem with the government's approach. It is either
      arbitrariness, carelessness or corruption on the part of government and in
      either case it is bad for people. The state is losing out on revenue that
      could be used for good purposes, especially for welfare projects," said
      Shailesh Gandhi.

      Pankaj Kapoor, MD of property consultancy Liases Foras, told DNA the
      equivalent for outright purchase price in the island city, at a conservative
      average estimate, would be Rs1,50,000 per square metre. By that calculation,
      the government can extract Rs77,000 crore through long leases.

      Collector Chadrashekhar Oak said a new land lease policy has been notified.
      The new policy, announced in October 2012, ruffled a lot of feathers by
      announcing a first-ever rejection of the centuries-old, British-era lease
      rents. "In 1999, there was a policy for renewing them. Some people
      challenged that in the high court.

      The case was withdrawn in 2006. Now the government has come out with a new
      policy and a GR for the same has been issued in December 2012. As per this,
      first we will look to renew the leases as per Ready Reckoner rates," Oak
      said. Those unwilling to pay market rates will have to surrender land, the
      implementation of which will start between March and May 31, he added.

      @scribeashutosh
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