Mumbai: The undervaluation of properties by Mumbai Stamp Duty Collector office has cost 137 crore loss to the state government. This was admitted by state goverment in a starred question on Monday in Legislative Assembly. The state government has hinted that action will be taken against the  erring officials.

The officers of the Stamp Duty department in connivance with those selling or buying properties, undervalued the property to help them evade the legitimate stamp duty payable to the state government.

These officials in hand are believed to have received kickbacks from the people according to the percentage of the stamp duty they managed to evade.

 Shiv Sena legislator from Umarga Assembly constituency in Osmanabad district asked a starred question on the stamp duty loss due to the high handedness of Mumbai stamp duty collector office.

The state has a separate department called Inspector General of Registrations (IGR) to collect Stamp duty and register properties and documents.  This department  has a stamp duty collector as its District officer.

" The IGR office  reviewed the adjudication by Mumbai Stamp Duty Collector in case no. 24082014 under article 53 A of stamp duty act and it was found that Rs.49.31 crore were short levied," answered Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat admitted in his written answer. 

"In an audit of another 58 cases adjudicated by Mumbai Stamp duty Collector office, it was found that Rs.87.97 Crore stamp duty was short levied," Thorat said. 

Reacting to this stamp duty evasion, Inspector General of Registration Omprakash Deshmukh told FPJ that if the officers are found guilty of willful undervaluation, they will be punished as per the rule.

" I do not what exactly the government has answered in the house in these cases. But as per our procedure we recover the short levied stamp duty from the concerned parties who paid less stamp duty at the time of registration," Deshmukh told FPJ.

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