The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has attached the bank accounts of the capital's largest land owning agency - Delhi Development Authority (DDA) - for defaulting on payment of property tax. It owes the civic body Rs. 746 crore.
The DDA has 319 properties and 24 sports complexes in the city for which it is liable to pay property taxes, claims the corporation. "This week we have attached all their bank accounts and have told them to pay up as soon as possible," said standing committee chairman Rajesh Gehlot.
According to Gehlot, before initiating action they had sent at least seven notices to the DDA to either pay up or send representatives to discuss with corporation officials settlement of dues. "There was no response from their side, so we attached their accounts. After the attachment, some officials called us up requesting a meeting but we told them that we can have a discussion only after they submit at least a part of the money," added Gehlot.
"We are taking action to get our accounts de-freezed as soon as possible," said a senior DDA official, who didn't wish to be named.
Land and housing agencies such as HUDCO and CPWD have also been found liable to pay Rs. 45 crore and Rs. 35 crore, respectively, in tax dues. According to civic authority leaders if these authorities do not pay tax, they will face action too.
They either pay no taxes or when they do pay, they do it as per incorrect assessments, civic body officials claimed.
CPWD, for instance, pays service charges instead of property tax but instead of 75 per cent charge, the agency is paying only it at the rate of 50 per cent. Other agencies that have not paid taxes/stopped paying taxes or are paying incorrect taxes are the railways, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, department of posts, Delhi Police and Sports Authority of India.
Altogether, government agencies in Delhi owe civic bodies Rs. 1,500 crore in taxes.