Here's some relief from the harassment faced during the two-step deposit of property tax tied up in red tape. From next week, the tax can be deposited at your nearest e-Sampark centre.
Additional commissioner of Chandigarh municipal corporation, Sunil Bhatia said, "Everything has been finalised. Though we have not decided the exact date, we are hopeful of starting the service next week." The UT has 11 e-Sampark centres.
At present, residents have to carry out a two-step procedure - deposit the property tax at Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), and then visit the MC tax branch to submit the receipt. Every year, the civic body collects nearly Rs 20 crore in property tax from commercial establishments.
Mayor Subhash Chawla said the plan was to start the service from August 15: "We don't want residents to face any harassment. They can do deposit the tax at e-Sampark centres where they deposit their water and electricity bills usually."
Welcoming the move, Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president, Traders' Association, Sector 17, said that ever since the tax was introduced around nine years ago, the residents were facing problems as only one bank was authorised: "We have to wait in long queues. We also urge the MC authorities to maintain proper record of property tax."
It merits mention here that despite giving several advertisements over the past one year to seek pending tax, the MC tax branch has failed to recover the levy from defaulters; the total outstanding is over Rs 6 crore.
Also, the MC is collecting the tax as per a survey conducted in 2004. That survey puts the number of commercial buildings at 20,000, while officials in the tax branch acknowledge that the number must have gone up to at least 25,000.
The annual audit report of the MC had also raised serious objections over the MC's laxity in maintaining record of property tax.