Gov’t Yet to Recover Owed Rent from 10 Liquor Vends
|July 24, 2013||Posted by Staff under News, Rent|
At Least the Administration Got Rent from 18 Sellers
by Vinod Kumar
The Union Territory (UT) excise and taxation department is yet to recover Rs. 50 lakh as ground rent from the owners of 10 liquor vends that were operating from pre-fabricated structures on roadsides.
While owners of 18 of the liquor vends have paid the rent, the remaining 10 are yet to pay some or all installments of the nearly Rs. 70,000-a-month rent to the UT.
The land for the pre-fabricated structures was provided by the UT engineering department on the roadside near roundabouts and red lights in various sectors of the city, which was earmarked for future expansion of roads.
There were 28 liquor vends in the city until they were forced to close shop on May 1 this year on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC).
The court ruled that allotment of the land to successful bidders of liquor vends by private negotiation was in violation of Section 3 of the Excise Act and also in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
The HC direction had come as a blow to the UT administration. Pre-fabricated vends have been a major source of revenue. The department is expected to lose around Rs. 80 crore in revenue.
Last year, the site for a pre-fabricated vend in Sector 52 had fetched a bid of whopping Rs. 4.25 crore against the reserved price of Rs. 3.3 crore. Another such site at Behlana village was also auctioned for Rs. 4.25 crore.
JJS: At least some government recover the socially-generated value of land. It might not get all the rent. It might not get it from the right users. And it might not get it for the right uses. But at least the principle of “reap as you sew”, of public recovery of publicly-generated value, is upheld.