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Income - Tax Dept purchases real estate worth Rs 2,500 crore in a year
May, 04th 2011

The Income Tax Department became one of the largest purchasers of real estate properties last year as it embarked on a mega expansion spree to spread its establishment for enhancing taxpayer services in the country.

The department, which has recently begun a special drive to check prevalence of black money in the country's real estate sector, has acquired high-worth properties worth about 2,500 crore in more than 20 cities in the last year alone.

The largest acquisition by the department has been at the cost of more than 2,000 crore for the purchase of office space in the civic centre near the national capital's marketing hub, Connaught Place. The civic centre is the tallest building in Delhi. The department has similarly purchased 56 staff quarters worth more than 89 crore at the pricey Bandra-Kurla complex in Mumbai.

"All the acquisitions have been done in order to expand taxpayer facilities and to provide better living and working facilities for the department staff. No doubt the department's purchasing power has been the largest in the last fiscal," an Income Tax Commissioner involved in the process, said. The department, with these acquisitions in the real estate sector has probably become the largest government department to acquire and create real estate in the country, the commissioner said.

The shopping bucket of the department, according to an official report, has other high-profile purchases and acquisitions like creation of a training centre and hostel facilities for new recruits of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) at their alma mater - National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT) in Nagpur at the cost of 100 crore.

In Chandigarh, the I-T department has purchased 5,000 acres of land for office space at the cost of more than 33 crore, a centralised air conditioned I-T office at Udaipur at the cost of more than 16 crore, acquisition of land for construction of office building for the department in Mumbai at about 23 crore and land measuring more than 9,500 sq m at Jamnagar in Gujarat for office building at 8 crore.

Another set includes office building at Siliguri for 5.5 crore and a separate creation of 49 residential quarters and guest house at Siliguri in excess of 10 crore. One more big acquisition by the department has been made at Muzzafarpur in Bihar for building staff quarters at the cost of more than 21 crore.

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