Unless civic bodies improved their property tax collection, they will not able to deliver mandated services, Chairperson of Association of Municipalities and Development Authorities (AMDA) and Member-Secretary National Capital Region Planning Board Naini Jayaseelan said.

Inaugurating a two-day national workshop on “Role of Information Technology (IT) in property tax for development authorities and municipalities” here on Wednesday, she said after Octroi, an entry tax levied by local bodies, was abolished property tax was the major source of revenue for municipalities. Over the last decade urban population has increased by nine crore. “Though population has increased property tax has not increased commensurately,” she observed.

‘Bhuvan’ maps

AMDA is organising the workshop in collaboration with GVMC and VUDA. Use of IT would provide some basic solutions, she said. The “Bhuvan” maps of National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) also can be used as basic model.

For lack of funds, municipalities were not able to deliver basic services. This would hit them in two ways- while citizens would find fault with them, the State Government would also want them to deliver, Ms. Jayaseelan said.

Return from social investment

She also underscored the need for the government and urban local bodies getting commensurate returns from huge social investments made. There was a huge appreciation of property values along several Delhi metro corridors and private individuals were deriving benefit from it. Similarly, along Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridors too, ULBs and government should get back something.

Urban development authorities on the other hand were flush with cash whereas the civic bodies that had to provide were lagging behind, she pointed out.

Later in a brief interaction with media, Ms.Naini said a study needed to be done on the leakage in property tax. Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Ahmedabad were doing well in the use of IT and others were in the process.

GVMC initiatives

Explaining the initiatives of GVMC using IT to improve property tax collection, Municipal Commissioner M. V. Satyanarayana said using a pre-loaded format on-the-spot verification of under assessed properties was taken up to prevent leakages. He said from 10,000 properties the property tax had gone up from Rs.14 crore to Rs.35 crore. Payment of shop rentals also can be scrutinised.

VUDA Vice-Chairman N.Yuvaraj said VUDA and GVMC were conducting such a workshop for the first time. There are properties that are not assessed and under assessed and IT would provide solutions. In Hyderabad, satellite images were used. Collection efficiency needs to be improved. General Manager (Finance) of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation U. A. Vasantha Rao explained how the property tax in Bangalore had increased multi-fold after using GIS using basic models with NRSC and inviting citizens under a self-assessment programme. Nearly 400 outsourced staff were used and after that camps were run in wards to help citizens to compare with physical measurements.

Additional Commissioners M Janaki and B. Nagendra Kumar participated.

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