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Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Maharashtra Assembly today pointed out various tax liabilities of Lavasa City Corporation (LCL) in Pune district, including Rs 3.97 crore of land tax. The company had purchased 214 hectares of land without necessary permissions, the committee said. PAC report, tabled in the legislature today, also said the mining department of Pune Collector's office did not show any seriousness in recovery of mining royalty from LCL. LCL, which manages the planned hill-town of Lavasa, purchased 214 hectares of land worth Rs 4.23 crore during October 2002 to February 2009.
This land came under the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act. "Not in a single case did LCL have pre-permissions from the Pune Collector's office to purchase ULC land," PAC said. The Collector's office did collect penalty of Rs 11.90 crore for some of these transactions, but the company still owed Rs 3.97 crore in nine cases, it said. The process of recovery started only after Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) passed a stricture, so action should be taken against the responsible officers, it said. "In future, before granting permissions to projects submitted by a Special Project Authority, it should be confirmed that the company has paid all the taxes," PAC said. It also noted that LCL excavated 8 lakh brass of 'murum' soil for construction, for which the government demanded Rs 15.05 crore as a royalty. LCL's challenge to the order was pending in the court, but the mining department wasn't showing any seriousness to recover the amount, the committee said, suggesting that a good lawyer be appointed to make the government's case. PAC also asked the Pune Collector to ensure fixing of entertainment tax liability of LCL for water games and other sports. LCL hadn't taken permissions for these activities, it pointed out.
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