iconimg Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times
Amritsar, August 27, 2013
The importance of paying tax is to be drummed into defaulters. So when they go out to make house tax recoveries, the municipal corporation officials will beat drums outside their premises to shame them into clearing the dues.
Besides, from August 31 onwards, the MC also intends to charge 18% interest on the pending house tax. From August 29, the house tax department recovery team will take percussionists along to the doors of defaulters and start the process of sealing and auctioning their assets and property.

The civic body has listed 110 defaulters to go after initially. The deadline for recovering house-tax arrears expires on December 31, and the house tax department, which still has to collect to Rs. 24 crore, has managed to recover not more than Rs. 2 crore.

The department has almost Rs. 10 crore of dead arrears (including double entries and government departments with whom payment is to be settled through book adjustment), while there is another Rs. 12 crore to be recovered. "The civic body has no choice but to shame the defaulters, be it by beating drums outside their houses and establishments or any other means," said an MC offcial.

Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said it was high time that the defaulters paid their house-tax dues. "All through the year, they enjoy the MC's services and facilities but shirk when it's their time to pay back," he said, adding that the MC was serious about recovering arrears and would not shy of sealing and auctioning the assets and property of defaulters.