Demand notices to be served soon
OF THE 3.59-lakh odd households within municipal limits only one lakh have shelled out property taxes for the current year. Others, with cumulative dues amounting to nearly Rs 37 crore, have been giving the Corporation a go-around even as FY’06 draws to a close.
“Nearly 2.40 lakh households haven’t paid property taxes despite repeated reminders. A zone-wise campaign has been formulated to crack down on defaulters. As a first step, demand notices will be served to around 52,000 house owners in zone no 7 (Stadium zone) and this will be followed by similar notices in other zones,” revealed Additional Municipal Commissioner (Revenue) KR Jain.
It may be noted that the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) is owed around Rs 165 crore in outstanding taxes over and above the current fiscal year’s dues.
Incidentally, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which is bankrolling projects over Rs 1,200 crore in Indore, lists 85 per cent property tax collection efficiency as one of the preconditions for funding.
Revenue department officials blame erroneous data collection by the firm that earlier handled the Corporation’s computerised accounts for the lax tax collection.
“M/s Oswal Data, (the aforesaid) firm, failed to accurately transfer records from hard copies to the computer. In several cases multiple accounts were created in the name of the same person. This meant that bills could not be issued until the glitches were ironed out which, in turn affected revenue collections,” claimed Jain.
Now, however, M/s Elbiz, the firm that recently bagged the IMC e-governance contract, has erased computer snafus enabling the IMC to accurately assess individual tax liabilities.
“Elbiz has created thousands of new accounts from scratch painstakingly verifying payment details from hard copies,” informed the Additional Municipal Commissioner.
With accurate computerised records in place the Corporation has trained its guns on defaulters starting with those who have not cleared property taxes, which constitutes the single largest chunk of revenue earnings for the civic body.
Although admitting that revenue collections have been delayed Jain expresses confidence that the IMC will be able to garner a bulk of the dues before FY’06 comes to an end. “Within the next 58 hours notices will start going to out to defaulters and the IMC will attach the properties of those who fail to clear their dues,” declared Jain.