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Market rate for land now applies to govt depts too

Panaji: Escalating real estate prices no longer seem to be affecting the common man alone. Government departments, too, have been feeling the pinch owing to a central legislation that requires governments to buy land at the prevalent market rates. In the past, government departments could purchase large tracts for a pittance.

A recently finalised deal with the Goa Housing Board (GHB) for instance, will see the revenue ministry paying as much as Rs 35,000 per sqm for a plot of land at Porvorim on which a Revenue Bhavan is proposed to be built. An official from the ministry said the price would have been much higher had CM Manohar Parrikar not intervened.

“When we first approached GHB for around 5,000 sqm of its land, it had quoted Rs 50,000 per sq m. A proposal was prepared accordingly,” the official said. However, when the proposal was placed before Parrikar around eight months ago, he felt the quoted price was unreasonable. “The CM suggested that it be lowered. Fresh calculations were made and the rate was then fixed at Rs 35,000 per sqm,” the official said.GHB minister Jayesh Salgaonkar, confirmed to TOI that the transaction had been finalised. [H]

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