Nearly two months after the civic body served a Rs 4.50 crore notice to Treasure Island to cover alleged under-declaration of taxable area, promoters of the controversy-ridden mall-cum-multiplex on MG Road have yet to pay up.
Entertainment World Developers Private Limited (EWDPL), the holding company for the mall, first demanded that common areas, corridors, passages etc, should be kept out of the property tax ambit.
At a hearing conducted by additional municipal commissioner Devendra Singh, EWDPL representatives said parking space should not be taxed as parking could not be deemed a commercial activity.
"They cited the Bhumi Vikas Niyam in support of their claims. But we made it clear that the definition of a building has been clearly enunciated in Section 2 of the MP Municipal Corporation Act. And as per this, they are liable for property tax since the Rules can never supersede an Act," said additional municipal commissioner Devendra Singh.
"The promoters also claimed that they were listing the taxable area in the property tax self-assessment as per the results of a measurement carried out a few years ago. We asked them to carry out their own measurement if they weren't satisfied with our measurement," said Singh. "They are using one excuse after another to avoid paying Rs 4.50 crore towards property tax arrears for nine years," said a source.
So if EWDPL was dragging its feet over making the payment why didn't the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) put its foot down? "We're waiting for (deputy municipal commissioner Abhay) Rajangaonkar to return from abroad. Once he comes back we'll issue a final notice after which attachment proceedings will be initiated," said the additional commissioner.
Overruling objections filed by the promoters at a hearing on Monday, the civic body directed Treasure Island to pay Rs 4.50 crore to cover alleged under-declaration of taxable area. The promoters have been granted five days' time to deposit the money, said additional municipal commissioner Devendra Singh.
Following a physical measurement of the site in August, the IMC claimed mall promoters were declaring only half of the taxable area in the property tax self-assessment form.