The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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LESSONS OF LIFE: Sister Cyril with her students

No method in registration rules

The cash-strapped state government is going to make the registration of flats owned by cooperative societies compulsory (Registration fiat on group flats, Metro, December 7). What the state finance minister is overlooking is that no uniform or scientific method has been evolved to determine the valuation of the property in question when a purchaser wants to have it registered in his name. It depends purely on the whim of the registrar. Several touts have mushroomed, who hobnob with the registrar to slash the valuation put by him on the face of the deed ‘in pencil’ in lieu of a percentage of the savings on the reduced value which would ultimately be put ‘in red ink’. Evidently this ‘percentage’ percolates down the line.

The concept of determination of the valuation by a registering authority was introduced in West Bengal by the government in 1994, as authorised by the Indian Stamp Act, 1899. The guidelines enacted for determining the valuation for the purpose of collection of stamp duty are quite erratic. One of the major guidelines is that the registrar is at liberty to adopt the valuation of a recently registered deed in the same municipal ward as the guideline. Therefore, the purchaser has to hunt for a document with low valuation. If the registrar accepts such a lowly-valued document as the guideline, the purchaser has to fork out a percentage of the savings. It may be that your next-door neighbour has paid half the amount as stamp duty than what you had to incur for an identical accommodation. I only wish that our law-makers would be more diligent.

There is an even bigger fallacy in case of a long lease. There is a circular from Writers’, which to date has not been codified, that a long lease would be treated at par with a sale deed for the purpose of collecting stamp duty. What is a long lease has been at the mercy of the registrar. Therefore, if he thinks fit, a 75 years’ lease may be considered a short lease in exchange for a gratification. This is their interpretation of a court judgment.

C.K. Deora,

Old Post Office Street.

Missionary zeal

Apropos the report ‘Fee favour indeed for students in need’ (Metro, December 10), it is laudable that Loreto Day School, Sealdah, has allowed 160 students to pay the old fees in spite of the recent tuition fee hike. This noble gesture is in tune with their traditional missionary zeal that has not been tainted by materialism and mercenary motives. It is hoped that more schools will follow this example.

Govinda Bakshi,

Budge Budge.

lCongratulations to Sister Cyril, headmistress of Loreto Day School, Sealdah, for her gesture. It is astonishing that 50 per cent of the 1,400 students at Loreto Day School study free of cost. Other schools, too, should follow the instance laid down by Sister Cyril that imparting education is not a profit-making occupation.

Mohan Lal Sarkar,

Budge Budge.

lLoreto Day School, Sealdah, has taken a laudable step to help 160 students from underprivileged families. Fifty per cent of the students hail from low-income groups, and do not pay for their studies. The government must grant aid to such schools.

B.N. Bose,

Dum Dum Park.

Bullish on the mouse

Apropos the report ‘Job boom back at tech firms’ (Metro, December 10), after a lull, employment opportunities in the IT sector have considerably increased. It is really encouraging that the IT barons of Salt Lake Sector V have announced ambitious recruitment plans. The initiative taken by the Bengal government is yielding results. Although there is no dearth of talent in our state, our present share in IT-related industry is a meagre four per cent. That has to change.

Piyal Mukherjee,

Lake Town.

Power play

Apropos the report ‘Status tussle spins to Delhi’ (Metro, December 9), it is quite interesting that in view of the Supreme Court directive that the government may interfere in the administration of Anglo-Indian schools, the school authorities have taken the matter to their parent body. Is it because charges of irregularities are rampant against these schools or is the community scared of losing its benefits'

Tathagata Kar,


Not in good health

Florence Nightingale Clinic at Tiljala is a case for adoption for the health department and NGOs (No silver lining in cloud over poor man’s hospital, Metro, December 9). It is touching that the authorities still hope to revive this hospital for the poor.

Bhupen Bose,

Dum Dum .

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