The Andhra Pradesh Police has claimed to have unraveled a massive land scam in the Amaravati capital region where some of the poorest people have been shown as owners of lands valued at crores.
According to the Crime Investigation Department (CID), an investigation into ‘suspicious land registrations’ revealed that several people from the marginalised sections has purchased very high-priced lands.
As many as 797 white ration card-holders, each with a monthly income of less than Rs 5,000, were found to have bought about 761 acres of land worth Rs 220 crore during 2014 and 2015.
The state CID has written to the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate seeking a wider probe into possible tax evasion and money-laundering deals.
According to a letter sent to the IT Department, the CID team has said several of the buyers did not even possess PAN cards and most probably, could have evaded the taxmen’s lens. As many as 529 of the 797 landowners did not have PAN cards. The letter, further, said most of the deals were in cash transactions and could have easily evaded paying any tax.
The lands purchased were in and around the capital region with the highest number of transactions having taken place in Thulluru (243 acres) and Thadikonda (190 acres). Another 130 acres of land was purchased in Amaravati, while 134 acres were bought in the Mangalagiri area.
All the details of the buyers, size of land purchased, sale deeds and market value of the lands have been submitted to the I-T Department.
Post bifurcation of the state in 2014, the N Chandrababu Naidu government had declared Amaravati as the capital region of Andhra Pradesh.
About 33,000 acres of land were pooled from farmers to develop the area into a ‘world-class mega city,’ on the lines of Singapore.