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Auction time is action time
AFTER being rapped by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) for arbitrary allotment of land without any policy, last month the Odisha government decided to lease out land in the city to commercial developers through the bidding route. A draft land grant policy is on the anvil. Land allotment through auctioning will come into effect after the State Cabinet ratifies it.  

The CAG in its report for the year ended 31 March 2013 said that the state General Administration (GA) department allotted 464.47 acres of land in the city in 337 cases during 2000-12 to individuals, government offices, government undertakings as well as private bodies for establishment of hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and non-government organisations. Of these, 183.44 acres were allotted to non-government institutions/organisations. A test check of 164 cases (out of 337 cases) by the Central auditor revealed that the process of allotment of land lacked a defined policy and procedure. CAG held that absence of any rule or criteria to govern the allotment process gave room for arbitrariness in allotment.

The CAG report has also pointed out that non-revision of land premium as well as benchmark valuation of land brought in loss of Rs 251.92 crore for the go- vernment during 1998-2009.

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