The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to crack down in a novel way on 4,600 big property tax defaulters who owe the civic body R1,201 crore.
The defaulters owe the civic body anything between R5 lakh and R5 crore per property for five years between 1999 and 2004. Rather than go through long-winded legal channels, the MCD has decided to ‘shame’ the defaulters.
In a city which has 30 lakh registered properties and only 9 lakh owners who pay their tax on time, the MCD will adopt a three-pronged strategy to make big defaulters pay their dues.
One, the names and addresses of the defaulters will be published in prominent national dailies. Two, a list of the defaulters will be pasted outside the MCD’s 12 zonal offices.
And three, their names will also be put up on the corporation’s website.
“We hope this will act as a deterrent and the property owners will come to us to settle their dues. This is the last opportunity for such defaulters to settle their dues without paying interest and penalty,” said Deep Mathur, the MCD’s director of press and information.
But there's a chance that this strategy might not work.
“If they still fail to pay, we will be putting up lists of defaulters in the localities they live in so that honest taxpayers know who the culprits are,” said a senior MCD official, who did not want to be named.
And if this is not enough, the MCD will go to the extent of sending drum-beating announcers to the defaulter’s neighbourhood to shout out his or her name to local residents.