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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Pockets empty, MC goes after big fish now

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, July 29, 2013
First Published: 21:57 IST(29/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:58 IST(29/7/2013)

The fund-starved municipal corporation has set new arrear-recovery targets for its revenue-earning departments, though in the past two years, none was achieved.

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On Monday, the house-tax department team was out raiding various places, including the AlphaOne mall. Before the performance review coming up on Tuesday, the department still has more than Rs. 20 crore to recover.

The mall alone owed the MC Rs. 55 lakh in the year 2012-13. Instead of Rs. 1.35 crore due as annual house tax, it had paid only Rs. 80 lakh.

The final-payment case was pending before the department's assessment subcommittee. The mall owners failed to submit the various documents sought for the finalisation of house tax, and letters were also issued to the tenants at the arcade but not many had complied.

The mall owners have been asked to submit the required documents quickly. "Many big commercial establishments, including hotels and malls, are yet to settle their house-tax dues, and the matters are pending before the committee," said municipal councillor Surinder Singh, who is also on the assessment subcommittee.

Many hotels in the posh Ranjit Avenue area are next on target. "The owners of Clarke's Inn have been called to a meeting on Tuesday," said Surinder Singh, adding that the cases would be settled one by one. "The MC was close to achieving its house-tax-arrear-collection target," he added.

Various revenue-earning departments had fresh recovery targets and the performance would be reviewed every week, said municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda.

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