Govt records show land was sold for just Rs 800,000 per ropani
KATHMANDU, April 22: It has been revealed that the land mafia while selling the Lalita Niwas land had falsely undervalued the land at Rs 800,000 per ropani [5476 sq ft] to evade taxes during registration.
Investigation has revealed that members of the land mafia, land revenue officials and the owners of the land colluded to evade taxes while selling the land in 2061 BS.
Going by this price, the 114 ropani of land of Lalita Niwas was sold for around Rs 90 million.
Sources said Bhatbhateni Supermarket proprietor Min Bahadur Gurung, Shobha Kanta Dhakal and Ram Kumar Subedi had bought a total 114 ropani of the land by paying Rs 2,250 per ana or Rs 36,000 per ropani as tax from the then users of Lalita Niwas land -- Rukma Shumsher Rana, Suniti Rana, Shailaja Rana, Hatak Shumsher Rana and Heman Shumsher Rana.
A person who bought land from Bhatbhateni Supermarket owner Gurung said he had bought the land at the rate of 700,000 per ana [342.25 sq ft]. If this person is to be trusted, then land revenue officials and land mafia evaded Rs 29,000 tax per ana of land sold. This shows that the state had lost around Rs 50 million in taxes due to the collusion of the land mafia and officials.
Gurung, Subedi and Dhakal, who illegally bought the land from the erstwhile users of Lalita Niwas, have already sold the land to over 100 individuals and business houses. “We cannot even imagine getting Baluwatar land for Rs 50,000 per ana 15 years ago. Documents show they had shown the least possible price for the land to evade tax,” said an investigation official.
Incumbent General Secretary of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bishnu Paudel has said that he had bought 8 ana land in the name of his son Nabin from Uma Kumari Dhakal and Madhavi Subedi at the rate of Rs 50,000 per ana.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority and the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police are currently investigating the Lalita Niwas land scam. Investigation officials say they are unable to give further details as investigation is underway.
Earlier, the government had fixed Rs 50,000 per ana as the minimum price for land in the urban areas of Kathmandu Valley. The land mafia and corrupt land revenue officials used this legal loophole to evade tax.
Tika Ram Ghimire was the chief of Dillibazar Land Revenue Office when the ownership of the Lalita Niwas land was transferred in the names of various individuals. All land revenue and survey officials and land brokers involved in selling the public land have recently gone out of contact.