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Stamp duty theft leads to daily loss of ₹360 crore to state exchequer

RTI filed by activists expose no stamp duty paid on Cblo bank instruments

pune Updated: Jun 08, 2018 18:00 IST
Pune,stamp,duty
(From left) Vivek Velankar, founder of NGO Nagrik Chetna Manch and Shivprasad Chhatre, city-based RTI activist, during a press conference in Pune on Thursday.(HT PHOTO)

A right to information (RTI) application filed by city-based activists has exposed the blatant neglect by the state government towards recovering stamp duty cost from major banking institutions, which are regularised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), leading to an estimated daily loss of ₹360 crore to the state exchequer.

Addressing a press conference Shivprasad Chhatre, city-based RTI activist and a senior banker who is pursuing the matter with the state government, said, “All the transactions are in collateralised borrowing and lending obligation (Cblo), which is a money market instrument used for investment of short term surpluses, and are liable for payment of stamp duty as per the rates prevailing at the time of such transactions.”

“However, an official report filed by a committee appointed by the state government to look into the matter clearly stipulates the non-payment of stamp duty. This has been happening for the last 14 years since the time Cblo came into existence,” he added.

Cblo is a money market instrument that represents an obligation between a borrower and a lender as to the terms and conditions of a loan. Collateralised borrowing and lending obligations are used by those who have been phased out in the heavily restricted interbank call money market.

Chhatre accused that the state government, as well as the RBI, which is the regulatory authority for Cblo, of trivialising the issue.

He said, “While RBI had ignored to respond to the issue, even the state government has been delaying taking action in the issue. The state government had constituted a committee in April 2017 to review the entire procedure and the report clearly stated non-payment of stamp duty. Further, on May 19, 2017, the report was submitted to the revenue department.”

City-based activist and founder of NGO Nagrik Chetna Manch, Vivek Velankar, said, “Since the last one year, the matter is getting tossed between the revenue and finance department of the state government due to which the exchequer is losing revenue worth crores of rupees.”

“While the government of Maharashtra claims itself to be very proactive and dynamic, we wonder why the government is not in a position to take decision regarding the stamp duty matter since a long time,” added Chhatre.

Meanwhile, the apex court has accepted the petition filed by Shivprasad Chhatre seeking the details of the issue above mentioned.

First Published: Jun 08, 2018 17:39 IST