Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
Powai residents shocked as tahsildar asks them to pay Rs3.36 lakh as non-agricultural tax in 48 hours

As the financial year end comes to an end, several authorities have woken up and have started issuing letters and warrants to collect taxes, which the taxpayer has to pay within hours

Citizens receiving demand letters from government authorities in March every year is nothing new. However, Powai-based Eden Bungalows Co-operative Housing Society (CHS) got a shock when the tahsildar of that area issued a warrant and asked them to pay Rs3.36 lakh within 48 hours as dues for non-agricultural (NA) tax.

According to experts, every year, the authorities, under pressure to “achieve targets” of ‘collection’ take the gullible citizens for a ride and send notices demanding crores of rupees as dues. Most of the times a ‘compromise’ is reached. The notices are being issued as per the provisions of Section 180 and 181 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and warrant of attachment related provisions are initiated as per the provisions of Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966, Section 168 to 173, 174, 179 and 184.

In case of Eden Bungalows CHS, the notice is issued with an increased rate as well. The rate has been increased by 19 times to Rs9 per square metre from 48 paise a metre. That too, without informing the society about the changes in tax rates, said Eden Bungalows CHS in its reply.

According to the petition, the builders (Hiranandani Developers) did not provide any copies of communication between the developer and government authorities. “The only act that has been done with lightning speed by the builder’s office is accompanying the government official to individual societies to deliver the 48 hours’ notice. My clients have reasons to believe that (Transfer of Development Rights or TDR) worth crores of rupees is being misused by the builder which legally belongs to the co-operative societies,” a reply from the society says.

Eden Bungalows CHS had also appealed the municipal commissioner, not to approve any TDR of any nature whatsoever for the society without its written consent. The society has also requested the police to file a first information report (FIR) against Hiranandani Developers for failing to execute the conveyance within four months from the date of formation of the society.




Angelo Extross

5 years ago

I understand Grahak Hitvardhini, a large Consumer Organization, based in Pune, has filed a petition in the Hon' HC and is expecting the Orders on 29th of this month.
Could that be the reason for this sudden rush to collect NA Tax?
Those interested may collect more details from Mr. S Velankar, Founder President of the Organization. He may be contacted on e-mail: [email protected]

Economy & Nation Exclusive
Former power secretary EAS Sarma flays budget proposal to scrap customs duty on imported coal

EAS Sarma, former power and finance secretary in his letter to the prime minister accuses significant concessions being given to power companies at the expense of consumers

EAS Sarma, former power and finance secretary has written to prime minister Manmohan Singh pointing out the dangerous and unprofitable fallout of the proposed waiving of the 5% customs duty on imported coal. Defining the move as “a post-tender dole-out to benefit large private power companies”, he has urged the government to consider and inform the people of the serious implications of the Budget decision.

“I wish to caution the government on this. The finance minister should announce that the entire benefit that flows from this generous customs duty exemption will be passed on to the consumers,” he wrote. He says that this is “another scam in the making”, and explained, “Unless the government makes it mandatory for those companies to pass on the consequential benefit to the consumers over and above the fixed tariffs quoted by them on their own, it would amount to a fairly significant post-tender largesse being passed on to those companies on a silver platter. The amount involved on that account would run into thousands of crores of rupees and all that would flow out of the pockets of the Indian taxpayers into the pockets of the private power developers”.

This is not the first time that Mr Sarma has written to the government on the issue of private power developers. He has sent many letters earlier and has alleged that the process of signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) is opaque and fraudulent, and that the ministers concerned are all party to it. Mr Sarma said that most private power companies have got environmental clearances for their projects via dummy coal linkage.

Most of these private thermal power companies, Mr Sarma says, have invested illegally in coal mines and shipping contracts abroad and they send the money through dubious routes to fund their domestic operations. Mr Sarma had written to the Cabinet secretary earlier urging an inter-departmental team to investigate the issue. Read more at Former top bureaucrat alleges fraud in grant of environment clearances for private power projects
Referring to his earlier correspondence with the Centre, Mr Sarma wrote, “I referred specifically to the ‘fixed’ tariffs quoted by several large private thermal project developers and cautioned the government not to reopen the PPAs already finalized on that basis.”

In an earlier letter, written in January, Mr Sarma had said, “Once power tariffs are decided on the basis of a competitive bidding procedure, to reduce the import duty on coal or allowing the bidders to migrate to a lower tariff regime would amount to a huge amount of unearned concession handed over to the private players. The UPA government which is already muddled in several scandals will surely get involved in yet another scam of a similar magnitude.”


Budget may weaken govt’s credit profile: Moody’s

Dependence on corporate tax revenue and vulnerability to commodity prices and exchange rates weakens the government’s credit profile and lack of specific policies in the Union Budget to address these weaknesses is “credit negative”, Moody’s said in a research note

New Delhi: India’s Budget for 2012-13 lacks new solutions to address the fiscal constraints the government is facing and may weaken its credit profile, reports PTI quoting global credit rating agency Moody’s.

Dependence on corporate tax revenue and vulnerability to commodity prices and exchange rates weakens the government’s credit profile and lack of specific policies in the Union Budget to address these weaknesses is “credit negative”, Moody’s said in a research note.

The revised fiscal deficit target of 5.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the year confirms “significant fiscal slippage” and is a credit negative for India, it said.

Moody’s currently has a credit rating of ‘BAA3’ on India with a stable outlook.

Economists are also of the view that the 5.1% fiscal deficit target for the next fiscal is an uphill task considering the absence of a clear fiscal road map and the still uncertain global environment.

“In the absence of new policy initiatives, during the year, a combination of improved GDP growth and corporate profitability, lower global commodity prices as well as exchange rate stability to improve fiscal performance and meet the fiscal 2012-13 deficit target of 5.1% of GDP,” Moody’s said.

The general perception of the Budget is that it lacked new ideas for the stalled economic reform agenda and failed to address the bloated fiscal deficit condition.

Moody’s said the government did not note specific measures to achieve this goal and unless subsidy cuts and fuel price increases are introduced in the next few months, expenditure targets are likely to exceed yet again in 2012-13.

Further, the budget proposal to expand the number of services that are taxed will yield new revenue sources, but will not make a meaningful effect on overall revenues as service taxes contributes only 5% of current tax revenues.

The budget is a mixed bag of credit implications for corporates, the ratings agency said.


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