Government offices and institutions in the city are the biggest defaulters of house tax to the Patiala municipal corporation. In many cases, interest is far more than that of principal amount.
Available data suggest that that of the nine top defaulters on the list, eight are government offices and the ninth is the Rajindra Gymkhana and Mahindra Club (Maharani Club) has around Rs 2.15 crore of payment due towards MC pertaining to house tax, including the interest as calculated by civic body authorities.
Of the total, nearly 50% (Rs 1.06 crore) is just the interest on a principal amount of Rs 1.09 crore.
To get back its money, the MC is also offering an amnesty scheme under which the interest on pending arrears will be waived off. This can be a huge incentive for those willing to pay up. The scheme runs till August 31.
The elite Maharani Club tops the list of defaulters with Rs 79.98 pending in house tax. Of this, Rs 42.41 lakh has been the interest over the principal amount of more than Rs 37.57 lakh.
The temporary campus of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) is second on the list with Rs 76.91 lakh tax pending. Government Rajindra Medical College and hospital has Rs 30 lakh pending as house tax. MC sources said that the officers had not responded to notices to deposit their taxes on time.
"The MC has failed to take any action against defaulters," sources said. Other defaulters include zila parishad office, SDO, Devigarh division executive engineer Bhakhra main line, Devigarh division, office of the divisional engineer of telecom; district forest range office and the tehsildar office.
The MC wants to make all recovery before the implementation of the property tax, as house tax will be abolished with its execution. For some time now, the house tax has remained the only real source of income for the cash-strapped civic body.
MC commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said fresh notices had been served to defaulter offices to pay the house tax exempting interest under 'Amnesty scheme' before August 31.
"We have only received reply from Rajiv Gandhi law university authorities, who have demanded hearing over the issue, while other defaulter failed to respond till date", he said.
"In case defaulters would fail to deposit amount, complete amount included interest will be recovered by taking strict action leading even to sealing of buildings of concerned offices," Gill said.