Only 121 Benami Land Deals In Himachal Detected

Assembly Question Hour

Shimla: While allegations about violations in restrictions of sale and purchase of agriculture land under HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 abound, the government in two years has detected 121 ‘alleged benami transactions’, annulled no such deal so far and has permitted land sale in 609 cases to non-Himachali’s, the Vidhan Sabha was informed today.

Responding to a question by congress president Kaul Singh, the revenue minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that between 1st January, 2008 to 25 February 2010, the government had granted permission for sale of 618 hectares of agricultural land in 609 cases, whereas between 2003 and 2007, when the congress government was in power, permission was granted in 2068 cases.

Among the sale permissions granted, 342 were for industrial purposes, 136 for houses, 52 for educational institutes, 22 for hotels, 18 for hydel projects, 14 for agriculture, 10 for religious organizations, 6 for shops and commercial establishments and 2 for apartment buildings, said the minister.

In response to benami deals and transactions done on General Power Attorney (GPA) papers, the minister said that since sale deeds are not executed, it is very difficult to prove benami transactions even though 121 such alleged deals had been detected. The government has no complaints about sales made on GPA, he added.

216 Corruption Cases in Two Years

The chief minister in response to a question by Gangu Ram Musafir (congress) in a written reply stated that between January 2008 and July, 2010 the government had registered 216 corruption cases. While investigations in 159 cases were still going on but in 46 cases the challans had been filed in court. Five cases had been closed as untraced, he said.

Cases registered and still being investigated included one against former chief minister Virbhadra Singh his wife Pratibha Singh, IAS officers Subhash Ahluwalia and Sanjay Gupta while challan in a case against former minister Singhi Ram had been put before the courts.

Power Profits

Responding to a question by GS Bali and Sukhvinder Sukku of congress about sale and purchase of power, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that between 1st January, 2009 and 31st January, 2010, the state sold 3943.53 million units (MU) of power at an average price of Rs 2.16 per unit (Rs 851.8 Cr) and sold 2218.92 MU for Rs 6.52 per unit (Rs 1446.73 Cr).

50 % Reservation for Women In Panchayat Elections

To a question by Urmila Thakur (BJP) about 50 percent reservations to women in the upcoming panchayat elections, rural development minister Jai Ram Thakur said that based on the 2001 census and taking a block as a unit, reservations for women of scheduled caste, tribe, OBC and general category would be decided.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Anil Chandel

    This is great, Ravinder Ji !!

    It goes to show that more and more details are coming out regarding our government’s activities and therefore, the public can judge for themselves as to what the government was up to and how well the government was doing.

    As for the benami transactions, we all know that, that screams loud about tax evasion and other violations of the state laws. If 121 such alleged transactions have been detected (that is great success!), shouldn’t the government investigate those further. It is stupid to wait for a complaint. I hope the Tax Department takes a cue from that.

    Also, regarding the sale of land to non-himachalis, the minister only provided details on 602 of 609 stated number of cases. Since he went to a great length to mention 2 apartment building cases, I am sure he could mention the remaining 7 as well. Hmmm…. Which 7 cases did he not account for?

    To say that the previous government approved more of such transactions, without providing context is useless. I am sure those were for similar “valid” reasons, just as the current government has.

    216 Corruption cases, That’s a start! I am sure there is more corruption to be discovered.

    Oh.. the reservation again! Just yesterday, I got into a philosophical discussion about caste system in India and related-discrimination. My view on this is, that this will NEVER go away in India. It is officially practiced and promoted, provided for in the constitution and kept alive by way of reservation. Even more so, this has manifested itself into so many other ways, now it is based on religion (in some areas), gender, … I mean.. you name it. What’s next?

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