THE state government undervalued public lands in the upscale island city of Mumbai, which caused the state exchequer a loss of several crores, a report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the state legislature claims. Slamming the state administration, the report states that the ready reckoner values for the lands were determined on the basis of 1 FSI. Floor space index is the ratio of the buildable area to the area of the plot. The PAC has objected to this valuation on grounds that the total permissible FSI for the plots in the island city is 1.33.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had earlier raised objections in this regard. In its report, the legislative committee observed that the undervaluation had led to a loss of revenue in the form of stamp duty and registration charges, transfer charges, and development charges in several cases. The report states that the state’s Revenue department had accepted the lapse. The PAC has now directed the government to scrutinise each and every case of undervaluation and recover the lost amounts. The revenue department has said the Mumbai Collector’s office would be tasked with the responsibility. The scrutiny exercise will have to be completed within the next two months, and a status report would have to be submitted to the PAC.
The committee has also observed that in 319 cases of public land allotments to residential housing societies in Mumbai (island city), Mumbai (suburbs), and Pune, were allotted without bringing out public advertisements.