State Revenue department unconcerned even as defaults exceed Rs 19 crore
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 17: Despite raking in huge profits year after year by doing business in Assam, many tea estates and oil companies are not regularly paying their land revenue to the State government.
Land revenue totaling about Rs 19.11 crore as on March 2015 is yet to be paid by several tea estates and oil companies based in Assam, robbing the State exchequer of huge amounts of income. “Rs 8.15 crore and Rs 10.96 crore as land revenue are yet to be paid by the tea estates and oil companies respectively to the State government,” sources added.
Surprisingly, despite being well aware of the issue, the State Revenue department is not taking such defaults seriously and hasn’t taken any action against these errant tea estates and oil companies.
According to government data made available to this reporter, land revenue to the tune of Rs 1,32,98,777 is yet to be paid by tea estates in Golaghat district, Rs 30,40,705 by tea estates in Sivasagar district, Rs 1,04,12,996 by tea estates in Hailakandi district, Rs 4,52,87,723 by tea estates in Cachar district, Rs 19,21,168 by tea estates in Lakhimpur district and Rs 76,04,912 by tea estates in Jorhat district.
Similarly, land revenue amounting to Rs 11,626 is yet to be paid by oil companies based in Golaghat district, Rs 10,57,93,628 by oil companies in Sivasagar district, Rs 5,231 by oil companies in Hailakandi district, Rs 37,87,825 by oil companies in Kamrup (Metro) district and Rs 12,263 by oil companies in Jorhat district.
Some of the big tea estates in Golaghat district, which have defaulted on payment of land revenue as on March 2015, are Negheriting Tea Estate, Dakhin Hengera Tea Estate, Shawtali Tea Estate, Bokakhat Tea Estate and Bihara Tea Estate. In Lakhimpur district, well known tea estates like Dolouhat Tea Estate have defaulted on payment of land revenue totaling Rs 17,48,970.
In Hailakandi district, Chandipur Tea Estate, Aeikhal Tea Estate and Koyah Tea Estate have defaulted on payment of huge amounts of land revenue. In Cachar district, Hindustan Tea Estate and Dalu Tea Estate have defaulted on payment of large amounts of land revenue. Dewan Tea Estate, Pathicherra Tea Estate and Chimara Tea Estate are among the defaulting tea estates in Jorhat district.
Sources said the role of the Revenue department in forcing these tea estates and oil companies to pay their land revenue on time is questioble. Most of these tea gardens in both Brahmaputra and Barak valleys have encroached upon large swathes of government land as well, but still they do not pay land revenue to the government.