The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the prize winning architects of the National Architectural Design Competition for Rajaswa Bhawan with Citation and Cash Prize at a simple function conducted at the North Block, Ministry of Finance, here today.

The first prize of Rs. 10 Lakhs was awarded to Architect Shri Siddharth Shirur of M/s Vistaar Architects & Planners of Mumbai. The second prize of Rs. 5 Lakhs has been awarded to Architect Shri S. R. Sikka of M/s Sikka Associates while the third prize of Rs. 3 Lakhs has been given to the entry submitted by Architect Shri Manit Rastogi of M/s Morphogenesis. Three consolation prizes of 1 lakh each were received by Architect Shri Nishant Lall of M/s Sen & Lall Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Architect Shri Sanjay Nayak of M/s Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd. and Architect Shri Virender Khanna of M/s Virender Khanna Associates respectively. The winning entries were chosen by a panel of jurors, from a total of 58 participants from all over the country.

The Union Finance Minister had laid the foundation stone for the project in the year 2009 on a 5.65 acre plot allotted for the purpose and located on the Kasturba Gandhi Marg in the national capital. Shri Mukherjee had then announced that the project which would come-up in that important site would be a landmark and reflect the economic strides made by the Nation post liberalization.

In his brief address to the gathering, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee emphasized the need to have the National Tax Headquarters as people friendly while being fully in harmony with the “green” character of Lutyen’s Delhi. The Finance Minister said that National Tax Headquarters would set a new standard for public access and transparency. He also hoped that the Ministry would follow the method of holding Architectural Design Competitions for important buildings in future also so that the best scheme gets selected. The Minister appreciated the Revenue Department for exceeding even the revised targets of direct and indirect tax collections for fiscal year 2010-11. The Budget estimates for 2010-11 for direct and indirect taxes were Rs.7,45,000 crore which were revised to Rs.7,80,000 crore and actual collection at the end of financial year was Rs.7,92,000 crore, said the Finance Minister. The project is expected to be completed in next 24 to 30 months time, the Minister added.

In his address, Shri Sunil Mitra, Secretary (Revenue) informed that the Ministry hopes to obtain the Administrative and Municipal clearances within 6 months and the construction to begin at site by the 1st of January 2012.

Shri S.Palanimanickam, Minister of State (Revenue), Smt Sushama Nath, Finance Secretary, Shri S.K.Sharma, Secretary, Financial Services and Chairman, CBDT and CBEC were also present on the occasion among others.

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