Sena Mla Receives 4.3cr Waiver Despite Fin Dept. Objection | Bombay News

Mumbai: The MVA government’s decision to waive penalties and interest worth Rs 4.3 crore levied on illegal floors in a complex in Thane owned by Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik has overturned strong objections raised by the Department of state finances. The Ministry of Finance had, in fact, suggested taking the penalty twice to make the case a deterrent to others. The waiver was granted at a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The waiver proposal was proposed by the Department of Urban Development, a portfolio held by the Shiv Sena. It was adopted without discussion in the cabinet. Sarnaik is currently facing an ED investigation on money laundering charges.
Sources say the state finance department opposed the waiver, saying it would set a precedent for other unauthorized construction to seek a similar waiver. The finance department said the construction was undertaken without permission and a fine should be imposed. He also suggested that since the irregularity was serious, the urban development department should consider imposing double the penalty so that it could act as a deterrent to others.
The Ministry of Finance also said the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) would lose revenue if the sanction was lifted. The case concerns the Chhabhaiya Vihang Garden, two 13-story buildings built by companies controlled by Sarnaik. They received permission to build up to 9 floors in 2008. Sarnaik, however, had built a school for the TMC and received the TDR (transfer of development rights) construction for it. He then used the construction TDR generated from the construction of the school to build four more floors in the buildings in Chhabhaiya Vihang Garden without seeking permission from the TMC. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had complained to Lokayutka about the case.
The UD department’s proposal states that Sarnaik had received permission to build a school for TMC in return for the TDR construction in 2008. In 2013, it received the 2,163 square meter TDR construction. Another 544.7 square meters of TDR construction remained to be donated. However, without seeking permission from TMC, he used 2,089 square meters of TDR construction to construct additional floors of Chhabhaiya Vihang Garden to make 13-storey buildings. He then asked for regularization. The authorization was given in 2013 with a penalty of Rs 3.3 crore to be paid in 6 months, failing which an interest of 18% was to be levied. A sum of Rs 25 lakh was then deposited with the TMC. But even then, a sum of Rs 3.08 crore in penalty and Rs 1.25 crore in interest was still pending.
In its proposal, the UD department specifies that this is an exceptional case since the unauthorized construction had called upon construction ToRs granted to the promoter.

Comments are closed.