Building a home sweet home in south Delhi is set to get tougher for Delhiites.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has proposed to make it mandatory for residents to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the property tax department before their building plans are sanctioned. This move has been taken with an aim to improve property tax collection.
The proposal fielded by Congress Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri also highlighted the need for a similar NOC in procuring new licences or renewing old ones for restaurants and guesthouses, etc.
“The new clause will ensure more and more people pay property taxes. Currently lakhs of people fleece the corporation, whose biggest source of income is property tax collection,” said Suri.
According to the leader, lakhs of new houses are built and re-built every year and introducing the new clause is a simple manner in which tax collections can be improved. “The taxpayers will only have to show their receipts at the house tax department and get the NOC,” he said.
The corporation is also mulling introducing GIS mapping to further improve collections. With the Unit Area Method of tax collection followed by the unified MCD and now SDMC, property owners calculate their own property tax and sometimes give wrong measurements. GIS mapping will ensure that measurements are accurate.
According to data provided by the corporation, property tax collections have not improved in the last eight years.
Between 2004 and 2012, the unified MCD was able to increase the number of taxpayers by just 17,000. In Delhi, only 9 lakh property owners pay taxes.
Subhash Arya, Leader of the House, said more people will be recruited in the house tax department in order to generate more property taxes. “The department is under-staffed which is why tax collection is not as efficient as we would have liked it to be. The posts will be filled soon,” he said.
NDMC still to pay pensioners
More than a month after its formation, a staff crunch and financial problems have kept old pensioners and widows from receiving their
pensions from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
It has been 11 months since the 78,000 pensioners received their last payment of Rs. 1,000/month.
The corporation is supposed to pay pensions for three months at a time, which will cost Rs. 21 lakh. “It takes time to consolidate a new corporation and compile its finances. Pensions will be delayed by a few more weeks at least,” said a senior official of NDMC.