A new method by which the Municipal Corporation of Delhi calculates property tax may have been blamed for a fall in its earnings, but the ‘unit area method,’ as it is called, has won global praise.
The Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management, which has 150 countries as members, has picked the ‘unit area method,’ or UAM, as the semi-finalist from all entries on administrative reforms submitted by member nations.
Accolades and inquiries are pouring in from various parts of the country as well.
“The Defence Ministry is considering applying the ‘UAM’ to residential units in cantonment areas all over the country. Even municipalities in Jaipur, Kolkata and Mumbai have expressed interest in the method,” said councillor Sanjay Puri at a function here.
Under ‘UAM,’ their owners on their own can calculate outstanding tax on properties and then make the payment. “The system put an end to the harassment faced by property owners at the hands of corrupt house tax inspectors, who called the shots when the ‘ratable system’ to calculate property tax was being followed,” said Pradesh Congress president Ram Babu Sharma.
Under the ‘ratable value system,’ more than 5,000 cases were pending in various courts as property owners were presented with inflated tax notices.
“However, in the three years the ‘UAM’ has been in force, only five persons have approached courts to contest claims. This shows the new tax system has been fully accepted by Delhiites,” he said.
The MCD would not confirm if its earnings from property tax were higher in the past because of inflated bills served mistakenly. But its earnings from property tax this year, though slightly better than last year’s, is much less than the target set for 2006-07. The MCD has collected Rs 543 crore so far against its target of Rs 1,600 crore.