March 24, 2023

cag: CAG: Noida, an Industrial authority, but has just 5% land for industry | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Set up under the UP Industrial Area Development Act 1976, the Noida Authority failed in its main objective of promoting industry, the performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out.
The CAG report, tabled in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday, said only 5% of the total land acquired by the Noida Authority could be developed for its main purpose, which was industry. It did try to promote industrialisation with lower prices for industrial plots, subsiding these through profits earned from the sale of land in segments like residential and commercial.
However, the CAG observed, the Noida Authority was required to ensure that the benefit of these subsidised rates was passed on to genuine industrialists who were interested in investing at the earliest and not to investors or traders of land.
Glaring instances of undue favours in screening of applications and discretionary allotment of industrial plots were found by the CAG. The deviation from procedure is so stark that the state government on September 30, 2020 directed the Noida Authority that in no case should an industrial plot be allowed for any use other than those mentioned in allotment conditions.
The CAG calculated the monetary difference between actual benefits to the allottees and the charges levied for using industrial plots for commercial purposes to be to the tune of Rs 333.17 crore. Conversion charges for land in the mixed-use category were decided as 50% of the differential value of commercial and industrial property. The value of commercial property was much higher than that of industrial property. Later, the charge was reduced to 25% of the differential value on popular demand.
Interestingly, the charges were further reduced to 10% of the differential value at the 186th board meeting on September 18, 2015 citing public demand for reduction, the CAG report said. Besides, conditions on deposit of conversion charges were further eased by the board in December 2017. Instead of full charges, 20% of charges were to be deposited initially and the rest in 10 instalments paid six months apart.
The CAG observed that the reduction to 10% of the differential value was irregular and lacked justification as the suggestions of the public had been invited at the time of the initial reduction and duly considered. Thus, the CAG noted, the restricted applicability of the scheme along with reduction of charges in an arbitrary manner clearly indicated that special dispensation was extended to allottees of auto showrooms, art galleries and museums only. Mixed land-use facilities are available to such allottees on the ground floor of industrial plots on 25% of permissible floor area ratio (FAR).
The CAG said Noida had identified 36 cases where allottees were using the properties for activities outside the allotment condition. Amongst them were 10 car showrooms that were using industrial properties. As of August 2020, only 10 allottees had deposited the conversion fees and no maps were approved under the mixed land-use policy.

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