The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked the UT administration to explain the grounds on which it hiked excise duty and penalty for residential building violations besides other issues.
Important issues pertaining to the city were taken up in a recently held meeting at MHA. In a communication sent to the UT administration last week, the ministry has sought response from the administration for six issues. The administration has been asked to explain the reasons for steep hike in the excise duty. In the new excise policy, there has been rise in the excise duty from 20% to 300% and assessment fee by 33%. The new excise policy came into effect from May 1.
Hike in the excise duty and other taxes are said to be the main reasons for the poor response to the auctions of liquor vends this year. So far, the excise department has held four auctions, but failed to sell all liquor vends.
There are a total of 217 vends, of which 103 were sold in the opening auction held on April 23. The second auction held on April 30 attracted only 21 buyers, while only 12 vends were sold in the third auction held on May 14. The fourth auction for the remaining liquor vends conducted on May 29 again evoked poor response as only six vends were sold. For attracting bidders, the department had reduced the reserve price by 5%.
The administration has also been asked to respond on the issue of levying penalty regarding construction of houses in violation of norms and exemption from penalty when construction done within four walls of the house.
The MHA also directed the administration to explain its stand on construction of more lower income group (LIG) residential accommodations in the city. As per official record, since 1976, Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has constructed around 45,000 flats in different categories, of which around 30,000 are for LIG.
Regularisation of over 1,600 temporary employees working in different departments of the administration and of construction outside lal dora are the other issues on which the MHA has sought explanation.
The administration had recently prepared a draft of building bylaws for its villages to put a check on haphazard urbanisation in the rural areas.
There are 23 villages, of which nine are under the control of the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC). This is for the first time that the building bylaws for controlled development of these villages have been framed. The villages falling in Chandigarh have broadly been categorised as "sectoral villages" and "non-sectoral villages".
According to senior official, the issues raised by the ministry have been sent to the department concerned for their response.
Explanation also sought on
Penalty for residential building violations
Exemption from penalty when construction done within four walls of house
Construction of more lower income group residential accommodations
Regularisation of over 1,600 temporary employees
Regularisation of construction outside lal dora