THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Overruling the objection of the finance department, the state cabinet has granted exemption from stamp duty and registration fee for the eight cents of land at Kakkanad in Ernakulam district purchased by the Kerala Karshaka Sangham, CPM’s feeder organisation of farmers. The land and 700-sq-ft building was purchased by the Ernakulam district committee of Karshaka Sangham for constructing a memorial for late T K Ramakrishnan, former minister and CPM leader.
The registration department will lose a revenue of Rs 6.24 lakh as a result of the decision. The state cabinet that met on March 16 discussed the item and approved the decision as suggested by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. But the decision was not announced by the chief minister’s office along with other decisions taken in that meeting.
The district secretary of Kerala Karshaka Sangham had requested the government for stamp duty and registration fee exemption for 3.30 ares (8.15 cents) of land that comprised in Resurvey No. 333/20 in Block No.009 of Kakkanad village in Kanayannur taluk. The property was valued at Rs 62,75,000 and the corresponding stamp duty was calculated as `4.99 lakh by the registration department. The registration fee for the same would amount to Rs 1.25 lakh.
The registration IG wrote in the file concerned that the government has the power to give exemption from stamp duty and registration fee in public interest as per section 9(1) (a) of Kerala Stamp Act, 1959. The proposal was then perused by the finance department, which found the reason to give exemption was not satisfactory. “Stamp duty and registration fee exemption for the property purchased can’t be granted,” wrote the finance secretary.
Registration Minister V N Vasavan who examined the file then concluded that the purchase is for a public cause and there is nothing wrong in giving exemption of registration fee. The plan of Karshaka Sangham is to construct a reading room with library and Agricultural Research Study Centre in memory of T K Ramakrishnan.
Vasavan suggested to overrule the opinion of the finance department as the purpose is of public interest. Finance Minister K N Balagopal agreed to the suggestion and forwarded the file to the CM. Ramakrishnan was a senior CPM leader who had been an MLA from the first to tenth legislative assemblies of the state, except the fourth and seventh. In 1979, he had served as the opposition leader too. Ramakrishnan died in 2006.