The comptroller and auditor general (CAG) has detected financial loss of `11,676 crore to the state exchequer, major chunk of which was contributed by the Tata Steel and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), in its report tabled in Jharkhand Assembly on Thursday. The government of Jharkhand has accepted 99% of the objections raised by the CAG.
The CAG observed that Tata Steel and DVC had sub-leased in an unauthorised way, transferred and sold land, which were leased to them by the government. This caused a revenue loss of `4,400 crore.
Deputy accountant general Ajay Kumar Jha said, “Tata Steel and DVC had sub-leased 469 acres of land to 1,279 individuals/industries etc. between June 25, 1970 and October 2009 without prior approval of the government.”
He added that the offices of deputy collector of Tata Lease office and secretary of revenue and land reform department had information about the above irregularities but no action was taken.
The CAG further revealed that the government incurred `249 crore loss from 1,860 acres of land encroached by 86 ‘bastis’ in Jamshedpur under Tata lease area and by Railways in Chaibasa.
It stated that Tata Steel had set up a cement plant in its leasehold area at Jojobera in Jamshedpur, but transferred the lease right of plant to Lafarge India Private Limited in November 1999 without prior approval of the state government. It pointed out that Tata Steel in contravention of the lease agreement and Bihar government estates (khas mahal) manual had transferred the lease right to Lafarge India Private Limited on payment of `550 crore.
The CAG report also revealed a further loss of `200 crore due to non-realisation of ‘salami’, rent and cess after Tata Steel land was sub-leased to 59 entities including XLRI, Tata Robins, Tata Blue Scope Steel and Fortune Hotel in Jamshedpur in 2012.
The report also indicated a loss of `3,964.94 crore due to nonrealisation of rent and interest from khas mahal leased land. It highlighted that 7,862 khas mahal land leases, measuring an area of 2,547.42 acres in Chaibasa and Garhwa, expired between 1934-35 and 2013-4 but were not renewed stalling the realisation of rent. The report particularly highlighted the case of Surbhi Apartment on Circular Road in Ranchi which got the khas mahal land in violation of laws.
The CAG also detected gross evasion of Value Added Tax (VAT) by 412 dealers incurring loss of `1,226 crore to state exchequer. The report revealed that two unregistered dealers - Guljar Ahmad at Jharia and Bhuneswar Nath at Deoghar had imported mobile phones with accessories and furniture worth `226 crore from 2012-13 evading VAT of `25 crore.