DEMAND FOR TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR EXPEDITING LAND ACQUISITION AT SHRI JAGANNATH TEMPLE

FINANCE

07/02/20

SHRI AMAR PATNAIK (Odisha):Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri is an important religious and cultural institution for millions of devotees in the country. Yet, recent terror related security threats concerning the temple have emerged and require urgent attention. On the basis of an important recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry, the Odisha Government has taken up a project for "Development of Security Zone around Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri" under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) Scheme to ensure the security of the temple and the safety of devotees. To implement the project, the immediate acquisition of private properties within the security zone is required. Private lands are, therefore, being acquired by direct purchase through bilateral negotiations. The land owners involved shall get value not less than the compensation amount under the Right to fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Further, the State Government has declared a special Rehabilitation
and Resettlement (R&R) Assistance package in this regard for the families affected by the process. However, without exemption of income tax or capital gains tax on proceeds of the sale agreement and R&R Award from
such sale, the process cannot be completed within time in spite of the State Government's best efforts. The hon. Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik has recently written to the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in this regard. Therefore, I demand that the Union Government take prompt action by providing the requisite income tax and capital gains tax to expedite land acquisition in the interest of security.