The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation offered early bird discounts on property tax to get citizens to pay their bills on time. But it forgot an important step in the process: actually printing the bills.
The issue has been taken up by Congress corporator from Bandra Asif Zakaria, who has demanded an extension from the civic chief.
Under the scheme, the BMC said tax-payers who settle the first half of the biyearly bill with arrears before June 30 will get a 2% discount. Tax-payers who also pay the second half of the bill before June 30 will get a 4% discount. Similarly, if the first and second half with arrears is paid before July 31, a 1% and 3% discount respectively will apply.
But with only 15 days to go, the bills were yet to reach citizens, Zakaria said.
BMC officials said the payment can always be made online. “We will start dispatching bills, some of the bills are yet to be printed. But our advertisement states even if there are no physical bills, the payment can be made online or at citizen facilitation centres,” said an official, requesting anonymity.
Zakaria, however, pointed out loopholes in the online bill. “Not everyone may have an internet connection, and even if one does, there are mistakes in the online version about amount payable.” Zakaria has referred to these ‘mistakes’ in his complaint. He said the discount does not apply to tree cess, state education cess and employment guarantee cess — all components of the bill.
“The printing process is ongoing, at BMC’s printing press,” said Kishor Surti, general manager, municipal printing press.
Deputy municipal commissioner Milin Sawant was unavailable for comment, despite repeated attempts to reach him.