PM seeks countrywide data of benami properties within month


Staff Reporter


In a major move to crack down the benami properties under government’s anti-corruption drive, the federal government Friday asked the deputy commissioners and heads of the development authorities across the country to identify the benami properties in their jurisdictions within a month. In a letter written by the PM Office to chief secretaries of all the provinces, the deputy commissioners had been asked to identify the benami properties for being collectors and custodians of the land record and having a key role in collection of the property records, a PM Office statement said. “It will therefore be ideal to direct all the Deputy Commissioners to identify through respective revenue staff all benami or suspected to be benami properties in their jurisdictions within one month,” the letter said. The government had kicked off a far-reaching campaign against corruption following the enactment of Access to Information, Whistle Blower Act, and Benami Act. The PM Office stressed the need to support the anti-corruption drive through pro-active policies, strategies and approaches to curb corruption at all levels in the government and society. The prime minister, in a meeting held on August 20, 2019 on Benami properties, had stressed upon the implementation of Benami Act, 2019 to harvest its true potential in the national and global context. The letter underscored the need for tracking benami properties across the country and desired that the provincial governments might adopt a proactive role in initiating the tracking of benami properties in their provinces through respective institutions in this national cause. The PM Office also asked the provincial governments to direct the heads of the development authorities throughout the province to identify such properties, within their respective jurisdictions, through their own records and monitoring mechanisms and sources. The deputy commissioner or the head of development authority would furnish certificate that no benami property or suspected to be benami property existed apart from the ones they had identified. However, in case, any benami property was identified at a later stage, the concerned deputy commissioner / head of development authorities might be liable to proceedings under relevant provisions of the Benami Act. The authorities concerned have been asked to submit a complete report on the matter to Chairman Federal Board of Revenue and under intimation to PM Office by September 30, 2019.

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