With a large number of defaulters to be booked, targets -- assigned to them by the civic body -- to be achieved by December 31, officials of the house tax department are virtually at their wits end. So much so, they can be seen making recoveries on off days and on weekends.
The teams of the house tax department were out making recoveries on Saturday, their weekly off. Sources said the house tax department, which is over-staffed in terms of superintendents and understaffed as far as inspectors are concerned, faces a shortfall of Rs 15 crore, which it has to achieve by December 31.
The deadline has been fixed by the government.
As per the fresh daily targets assigned by the MC to the house tax officials, the recovery teams have to collect nearly Rs 21 lakh daily.
Sources said superintendents in the department outnumbered the inspectors, who are around 11.
They said at least three more inspectors were required in the department.
Sources said the department faces the mammoth task of covering more than 10,000 defaulters, comprising government departments, renowned private schools, offices of Amritsar Improvement Trust, BSNL, agriculture department and forest department etc.
Besides this, more than 1,500 cases pertaining to house tax are still pending before the assessment sub committee, which have to be decided by December 31.
With so much to achieve in a short span of time, the department officials have sought administrative changes in the form of a reshuffle in the department to speed up the pace of recoveries.
"The MC is serious as far as making recoveries from defaulters and the performance of its officials is concerned," said municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda.
"Regular review meetings are being held to assess the performances of the officials concerned. Strict action will be initiated against those who fail to achieve their targets in time," he added.