Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 21
Owners of automobile spare parts and accessories shops allotted by the Chandigarh Administration in various sectors have received notices from the Estate Office asking them to pay arrears of lease money amounting to lakhs.
The notices have created panic among traders as they have been asked to pay the amount in 30 days or face action. They have termed these unjustified. Sources said the Estate Office had sent notices to over 500 shop owners in the Sector 48 motor market alone for paying the arrears of the lease money. In the notices, the Estate Office had stated that the lease money was inadvertently miscalculated at the time of the allotment of the shops in 2001 on the land rates alone. However, as per the rules, the ground rent is to be calculated on the land rate plus the cost of construction.
Robin, one of the shop owners at the motor market, said when he was allotted the booth, the lease money was fixed at Rs 24,000. He said as per the notice, calculated on the new formula, the lease money had been enhanced from Rs 24000 to Rs 35,502 yearly.
He said the wrong calculation was not their fault. He had been paying the lease money regularly.
The enhanced amount of over Rs 10,000 monthly should not be charged retrospectively. In the calculation made in the case of his booth, the Estate Office calculated the ground rent at Rs 5,74,679, the GST Rs 2,29,542 and interest Rs 9,80,967. The difference of the ground rent is Rs 2,07,090. The allottee has been asked to pay Rs 19,92,278 in all.
Jagdeep Mahajan, a trader, said they would oppose the notices as these were unjustified. He said while some traders were planning to move court, others were planning to hold a protest.
Pradeep Chhabra, president of the city Congress, said traders had already brought the issue to his notice. He said the issue would be taken up with the Administration. The Administration had shifted mechanics and automobile dealers to Sector 48, 38, 52, 28 and 43 from interior areas of the city 20 years ago by allotting them booths and shops on a leasehold basis.
In some cases, the amount of arrears is more than the allotment prices of the booths.
Lease money was miscalculated
- The Estate Office has sent notices to over 500 shop owners in the Sector 48 motor market alone for paying the arrears of the lease money.
- In the notices, the Estate Office has stated that the lease money was inadvertently miscalculated at the time of the allotment of the shops in 2001 on the land rates alone.
- As per the rules, the ground rent is to be calculated on the land rate plus the cost of construction.
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