BEST gets Maharashtra government notice over Rs500-crore tax dues
The Mumbai island city district collector has recently slapped a notice to BEST, threatening to attach its movable or immovable properties, for failing to pay Rs500 crore due towards in property and nutrition tax since June 2010mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2017 00:28 IST
While Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is struggling to stay afloat in its worst-ever financial crisis, the Maharashtra government has added to the worries of the Shiv Sena-led body.
The Mumbai island city district collector has recently slapped a notice to BEST, threatening to attach its movable or immovable properties, for failing to pay Rs500 crore due towards in property and nutrition tax since June 2010. BEST undertaking has not paid passenger tax worth Rs363.37 crore, including penalty of Rs72.67 crore; and nutrition surcharge worth Rs136.21 crore including penalty of Rs27.24 crore for the period from June 2010 to March 2017.
The collector has the power to recover government’s dues or revenue by attaching movable or immovable properties of the individuals and organisations. In September this year, the transport department had requested collector to take action against BEST.
Mumbai city collector Sampada Mehta said she was unaware about the issue as she is on leave. Anil Kokil, chairman of BEST, said that he is unaware about the development. “The management has not informed me about any such development,” said Kokil.
Maharashtra government levies 3.5 % passenger tax on every ticket. Similarly, the government collects nutrition surcharge of 15 paise per ticket, since 1971 Indo-Bangladesh war.
BEST serves more than 27 lakh commuters from Mumbai and neighbouring cities daily. Besides this, the century old body also supplies power to 10 lakh consumers in island city. Sources said that though the transport bodies are expected to deposit the amount collected from passengers in government exchequer, most of them fail to do so.
The century-old BEST undertaking is going through its worst-ever financial crisis. It had no money to pay employees salary on time till August and cumulative losses had mounted to more than Rs2,000 crore.
The political leadership in BEST had requested a bailout package from the BMC, the parent body of the undertaking. But, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta turned down the proposal and directed to implement reforms such as hiring buses on wet lease, fare revision, freezing of dearness allowance and other perks of 41,000 employees of BEST.
According to sources, BEST has apprised Mehta about the government notice for tax dues.