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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

MC launches awareness campaign on property tax

Navrajdeep Singh , Hindustan Times  Patiala , November 11, 2013
First Published: 23:07 IST(11/11/2013) | Last Updated: 23:14 IST(11/11/2013)

Better late than never, Patiala Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally come out of slumber to spread awareness about the newly-implemented property tax among the people under its jurisdiction.

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With 20 days to go for the discount scheme to expire, PMC's informatory campaigns will be launched from Tuesday to help people, clueless about the tax and its slabs.

However, till November 30, the residents were eligible for 10% discount on the payment of property tax.

The awareness camps and seminars will be held across the 50 wards under the civic body's jurisdiction.

PMC authorities could have availed the discount scheme had it decided to launch awareness campaigns earlier, PMC took another two months to understand the technicalities and slabs of the new tax and to make strategies to publicise it.

The delayed action of the civic body authorities may create problems for people as they have left with limited days to deposit their property tax before the discount scheme deadline.

The lackadaisical attitude of MC can be gauged from the fact that in Amritsar, Jalandhar and phagwara corporations, such awareness campaigns have already been running since a fortnight ago.

Since its execution on September 20, MC has received more than 1,200 applications from both residential and commercial establishments.

However, the income collected from property tax will remain one of the main revenue generation sources for MC, which is expecting to collect Rs. 20-25 crore per annum through property tax against the house tax collection of Rs. 10-14 crore.

Viewing heavy profit from property tax, MC has also prepared comprehensive information booklet to distribute among people urging them to pay tax at the earliest.

Mayor Amarinder Bajaj said, “People are not aware of the tax and are confusing it with house tax, which has been abolished with the implementation of property tax.”

“People still taking it as burden, but in reality, the property tax is cheaper and nominal than house tax. The awareness campaigns have been launched to educate people about the features and slabs of the property tax,” Bajaj added.

“We will not leave any stone unturned in publicising the tax and ensure better collection of property tax from city people,” said Bajaj.

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