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Attachment notice issued by the local Income Tax (I-T) department on the Malaysian Township
An attachment notice issued by the local Income Tax (I-T) department on the Malaysian Township (Rain Tree Park) project has left its residents fuming.
By: Times of India/Hyderabad
The I-T department on June 13 slapped an attachment order on the developer of the township, Swaandhra-IJMII Integrated Township Development Company Pvt Ltd (SITCO), for defaulting on payment of a tax of Rs 54 crore. It restrained the company from either transferring or taking any benefit of the property until further orders. SITCO is a joint venture between the AP Housing Board (APHB) and Malaysia-based IJM Infrastructure Limited (IJMII) that took up development of the Kukatpally township in 2004-05.
"The project was handed over to us in 2007-08 after much trouble. The township now belongs to the residents. How can the I-T department attach our property? If it has to take action against the developer it should attach properties that belong to them," said V V Rao, founder member of the Rain Tree Park Integrated Township Plot Owners Association while speaking at a conference on Tuesday. Speculating that the I-T order was issued in connivance with the developer, residents alleged that the move was directed at grabbing the 5.2 acre land within the township that was earmarked for commercial development in the original layout. This land is still lying vacant. "The value of this land is over Rs 200 crore and is part of the total 37.3 acres that the township is spread over. If it attaches this portion to raise the tax demand the department can later auction it to a third party," Rao added. Apart from the commercial parcel, residents fear that they might even lose part of their common amenities space and green zone that have still not been developed by SITCO.
SITCO officials, however, see no reason for conce. Lashing out at the I-T department for slapping an attachment order, when its appeal against the tax demand is still pending in the I-T tribunal, the firm's representatives said that residents had nothing to worry about. "We have already challenged the I-T department's tax demand (of Rs 54 crore) and the verdict is still pending. In such a situation it is unlawful for them to serve an attachment order," said B Venka Reddy, company secretary of SITCO adding, "Even if the I-T department does go ahead with the order, it will not attach the houses of residents but only the commercial land (of 5.2 acres) and other portions within the township still owned by the developer." Reddy maintained that these areas were never handed over to the residents and, therefore, belonged solely to SITCO.
While I-T officials remained unavailable for comment, APHB bosses refused to take responsibility for the matter. They claimed that the onus lay only with SITCO.