‘Institutions not sticking to approved plan, claim tax exemption’

In an effort to check conformity to building plan and identify violations, the Coimbatore Corporation has planned to ask schools and colleges to share details.

Debate

The move by the civic body follows a debate at the last Council meeting and an order by Mayor S.M. Velusamy to gather details from education institutions. The Council debate was about the institutions not sticking to approved plan and claiming tax exemption.

South Zone Chairman and Ward 94 M. Perumalsamy said that in the education institution-rich city, the number of schools or colleges that had buildings in violations of the rules was very high. The Corporation should act against such buildings. And strictly at that.

After seeking details about tax exemption, if any, to education institutions, he urged the Council to pass a resolution saying that the Corporation should start taxing private education institutions, except aided ones, so that they came under the tax net and the Corporation widened its tax net.

His line of argument was that unlike government and aided institutions, private institutions charged hefty fees from the students and were in a position to pay tax but were not.

His argument found immediate support among Councillors. This prompted Mr. Velusamy to gather details about all institutions, assess the extent of violation and explore their legal status on paying tax.

As a follow up to that, the South Zone officials have started issuing notices to schools in the area asking them to cooperate with the officials who go there for inspection.

The Corporation officials say that the Corporation is well within its right to send demand notices for tax and collect the same from education institutions, as the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation Act empowers it to do so.

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