Bhubaneswar Development Authority
Bhubaneswar: The Income Tax (IT) department has asked the development authority to submit names of its employees who have invested more than Rs 5 lakh between 2010-11 and 2013-14.
Subsequently, the Bhuba-neswar Development Authority (BDA) has asked its officials to submit the documents by October 15.
“The IT has sought the investment details of the employees. As per the order, we have also asked the employees to submit documents so that it could be checked whether they got interest of more than Rs 10,000 during that period. Action will be initiated against the employees who fails to comply with the order,” said a senior official of the development authority.
Sources said the intelligence wing of the IT department decided to keep tabs on the income of the employees of the BDA after it came to know how a number of them had allegedly amassed properties without adhering to the tax norms.
Many of them have been able to procure more than one house and plots at prime locations of the city. “We wonder how one employee with a limited income has managed to acquire such huge properties. It should be probed,” said IT officials. The development authority, which has already burnt its finger in the plot and house allotment under the discretionary quota (DQ), started scrutinising the property lists of its employees.
“There are some people who are yet to submit their property lists to the organisation. Once all do it, we will scrutinise it,” said BDA secretary Ranjan Das.
However, Das said there was no provision to release the properly lists of its employees online.
Earlier, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had criticised the authority after it found discrepancies in its land allotment policies. Following a hue and cry over the allotment of plots under the discretionary quota, chief minister Naveen Patnaik constituted a three-member team headed by additional chief secretary Tara Datta to examine all the allotments. The committee has been asked to submit the inquiry report within four months.
“The inquiry is under way. Once the probe is over, the team will submit its report to the government following which the latter will bring a number of reforms both in the administration of the development authority and allotment policies,” said housing and urban development minister Puspendra Singh Deo.
Stung by severe criticism over allotment of more than one plot or houses to several beneficiaries under the discretionary quota by BDA, the authority has decided to go for a transparent method that will put an applicant’s documents in the public domain.
Under the Odisha Development Authority Act, 1982, a person cannot own more than one plot or house in the state capital from any government scheme floated by the general administration department, BDA and Odisha State Housing Board.
Citing an example, development authority vice-chairman Krishan Kumar said: “If there are 100 plots in a BDA housing scheme and the applicants are short-listed then we will upload the documents of all the applicants and also add a list of those who are in the queue. Once the documents submitted by 100 applicants in the short list have been vetted, if necessary, the waiting list will be considered.”