Friday, April 27, 2007

Karnataka Government may order re-auction of recovered land

Karnataka Government may order re-auction of recovered land

S. Rajendran and Sharath S. Srivatsa

Encroachers of government land are said to be keeping a watch on potential buyers

# Detailed report sought from Deputy Commissioner on the auction proceedings
# 70 per cent of the lands auctioned on Wednesday fetched much less than the reserve price

BANGALORE: After the encroachment of government land and studying ways and means to check it, the State Government is unable to auction the land for a good price. Interestingly, the authorities have come across small groups of people attempting to dictate the prices at the auction of government lands being held here over the past two days.

Sources in the Government told The Hindu that the price of certain lands being put to auction were reportedly pegged to a lower level. Irrespective of the assurances held out to the potential buyers by the authorities along with police protection being offered, there were not many willing to venture to bid for certain lands that there were being put to auction. The bidders from outstation have remained in the background for various reasons and their local confidants are in the forefront.

Minister for Revenue Jagadish Shettar, who has been closely monitoring the auction of the Government properties being carried out by the officials of the Bangalore Urban District, told The Hindu here on Friday that as a first step, the Government had directed the authorities to re-auction should any given piece of land fetch a lower price than that which had been originally expected. In the auctions that were held on Wednesday, nearly 70 per cent of the lands sold had fetched a much lower price than what was expected.

The authorities had tentatively fixed the prevailing guidance value as the reserve price for a number of auctions (each sale of a given piece of land is considered an auction in itself) while in some of them the prevailing market price (based on the location of the land concerned) had been fixed as the reserve price.

After the first round of auctions gone through on Wednesday, the Government, which had the final say in the sale, has decided to opt for re-auction in several cases. A detailed report has been sought from the Deputy Commissioner of the Bangalore Urban District M.A.Sadiq.

Fear psychosis appears to have gripped the prospective buyers and most of them have refrained from participating in the current round of auction of government lands.

On the one hand, those who encroached the Government lands and have since been evicted were keeping a watch on the bidders. Added to this were the agencies of the Union Government, which were simultaneously keeping a watch obviously to detect tax evasion and garner information on tax evaders, if any.


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