Corporation to issue notices to 400-odd taxpayers for defaulting on payments as cheques issued by them bounce
About a month after crowing about the highest ever property tax collection of nearly Rs.800 crore, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is to issue notices to 400-odd taxpayers for defaulting on payments. Apparently, the cheques issued before the last month end deadline had bounced.
“It amounts to about Rs.5 crore. We are going to deal with these misdemeanours very seriously. We are securing information from the deputy commissioners concerned so that criminal cases can be booked against the defaulters,” said Additional Commissioner (Finance) K. Ashok Reddy.
GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu had earlier made it clear that while there were cheque bounce cases in the previous years too, this time the civic body was not going to take it lying down and would follow it up with criminal cases against tax defaulters.
Similarly, efforts were on to look into the long-pending property tax cases stuck in courts. All the standing counsels have been asked to take steps for proper reconciliation by mid-May so that a substantial sum could flow into the civic body’s coffers.
Tax collection could have easily crossed the Rs.1,000-crore mark if the municipal corporation had managed to collect the requisite dues from Central and State government properties. The State could give just Rs.20 crore of the projected Rs.70 crore before the financial year 2012-2013 ended on March 31. Collection from Central government properties too had been paltry because of the conflict with South Central Railway over the “service charge” (75 p.c. of property tax as mandated by the Supreme Court). South Central Railway had paid less than one-third of the demand of Rs.16 crore.
There have been quite a few cases where government undertakings like the APSRTC have not paid the demand figure raised while turf battles between APTransco and Central Power Distribution Company Limited have blocked at least Rs. 4 crore, explain senior officials.
From last year collection of profession tax was supposed to have been the GHMC’s job, but most of the money thus collected within the city limits went into the government treasury.
While the corporation expected Rs.100 crore to Rs. 300 crore, the figure has been just Rs.50 crore.