Stamp duty evasion

Mining firms cause Rs 7.56-cr loss to exchequer in M’garh

MAHENDRAGARH: Private mining companies reportedly caused a huge revenue loss to the state exchequer by not paying the stamp duty for registering their lease deeds to carry out mining activities in the district.

editorial@tribune.com

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Mahendragarh, July 6

Private mining companies reportedly caused a huge revenue loss to the state exchequer by not paying the stamp duty for registering their lease deeds to carry out mining activities in the district. Significantly, the lease deeds were executed with reference to an interim order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a case while the order was not applicable on the firms.

The registration of most of the lease deeds was executed on affidavits of Rs 10 stamp paper which caused revenue loss of Rs 7.56 crore to the state exchequer in Mahendragarh alone while it might be hundreds of crores as such deeds have also been executed in Bhiwani, Sonepat, Panchkula, Yamunanagar and other districts of the state.

Sources said it was revealed in an official communiqué sent to the Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) recently by DC-cum-Registrar Sanjeev Verma after inquiring into the matter.

The Registrar had recommended strict criminal and disciplinary action against four sub-registrars of the Revenue Department for the lease deeds besides directing the District Revenue Officer (DRO), Narnaul, to get special audit done from stamp auditor and submit the report within 15 days for further action, the sources added.

The matter came to light when Madan Associates, a mine lease holder of Bakhrija-1 here, urged the authorities to register its lease deed on a plain paper without paying the stamp duty. The firm also disclosed that lease deeds were also being registered on plain papers without paying stamp duty in Bhiwani, Panchkula, Yamunannagar and Sonepat districts except Mahendragarh.

“The Registrar then got the matter inquired into and found that 7 mine lease deeds were registered without paying the stamp duty in Mahendragarh from November 2014 to January 2016. The firms merely used stamp paper of Rs 10 for the deeds while as per rules, they were to pay a total stamp duty of Rs 7.56 crore,” said the sources.

PD Sharma, DRO, Narnaul, confirmed the lease deeds were executed on stamp papers of Rs 10 instead of paying the stamp duty.

“As per rules, the lease holder firm is bound to pay 1.5 per cent of the total lease amount as stamp duty every year while getting its lease deed registered, but some firms did not do so hence the case has been sent to the higher authorities for further action,” Sharma added.

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