Pointing out to more revenue sources, Yediyur councillor N.R. Ramesh said the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) could garner an additional Rs. 140 crore by bringing malls under the tax net.
Presenting details about the 107 malls in the eight zones, he said as per BBMP’s records, there were only 43 in the city. Six of the 10 biggest malls in the country were in the city. He said that as per the declarations made by the mall owners on their websites, 21 had over 10 lakh sq. ft built up area, 39 had over five lakh sq. ft, 26 had more than two lakh sq. ft and 21 had more than 50,000 sq. ft. “The BBMP gets only Rs. 11 crore as property tax from these malls.”
Opposition Leader M.K. Gunashekar said that as per Section 296 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, the BBMP’s Town Planning Department should invite objections from the public before according approval to any malls. Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju said officials working in the revenue department for many years should be transferred.
Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda said a committee headed by Additional Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena had been constituted to look into the revenue that could be collected from multi-storeyed apartments, commercial complexes, IT parks, wedding halls, hospitals, educational institutions that have evaded the tax net. He said the committee would submit its report next month. He added that the tax collection had been unprecedented this year. “In just two months (May and June), the BBMP has collected Rs. 750 crore as tax.”
‘No influence letters’
Later, Nagapura councillor S. Harish pointed out several cases of officials, who had been posted in BBMP on deputation, not being repatriated to their parent departments, in violation of the Karnataka Cadre and Service Rules. He said that though the Urban Development Department (UDD) had directed the BBMP to transfer 70 officials, very few were repatriated.
Mr. Gowda said he was ready to repatriate all the officials who were in BBMP on deputation on the condition that none of the councillors write to him requesting some official to be retained. “Don’t send me any influence letters and all the officials on deputation will be transferred after June 30. I have written to UDD seeking engineers from Public Works Department, who have earlier not worked in the BBMP. We will repatriate officials after making sure that work is not affected,” he added.
22.75 per cent scheme
Subashnagar councillor T. Mallesh lamented that 185 families in his ward had almost been rendered homeless as the work on their houses taken up under the 22.75 per cent scheme had come to a standstill. The work had stopped after the investigation into the multi-crore scam in Gandhinagar, Malleswaram and Rajarajeshwarinagar divisions had been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department.