Akrama-Sakrama scheme that was recently passed by the government to regularise building bylaw violations may not help citizens here, said Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana.
At an interaction at the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry here on Thursday, the Mayor said the scheme needs some amendments. “We have already discussed this with city in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. We hope that the amendments are discussed in the legislature session in Belgaum shortly,” he said.
According to him, the scheme in the current form will not help the BBMP, as properties with more than 100 per cent deviations will not be covered. “The scheme will help property owners regularise deviations to around 50 per cent. The ones with more deviations seem to be out of the scheme’s ambit.”
Mr. Sathyanarayana said the civic body was keen on levying improvement charges, which will benefit property owners who have built houses in the revenue pockets. The BBMP had earlier fixed the charges, but could not levy it as citizens challenged it before the High Court.
“On directions of the court, we fixed a uniform rate for sites of different dimensions,” he said and added that the BBMP would place the new rates before the council for approval. By levying the improvement charges, the BBMP hopes to garner Rs. 800 crore.
Regarding the BBMP’s poor financial health, he said BBMP’s loans and pending bills amount to Rs. 4,000 crore and thus it is imperative that tax collections are strengthened.
He lamented that the BBMP officials are not committed in this regard, as many properties are not in the tax net. With sustained efforts, at least Rs. 1,000 crore can be collected from Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura and Rajarajeshwarinagar zones, he said. “Many property owners have under-declared and paid less tax to the BBMP under the self-assessment scheme,” he said and invited FKCCI members to suggest ways to overcome this problem.