‘Same cheque presented towards tax payment of several properties’
Transport Minister and city in-charge R. Ramalinga Reddy has said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will probe into the alleged irregularities in revenue collection in five wards in the city.
Mr. Reddy directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan to hand over the case to CID during the revenue review meeting of Rajarajeshwarinagar zone here on Saturday. He said that several irregularities had been unearthed in the revenue collections in Herohalli, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Jnana Bharathi, Doddabidarakallu and Kottigepalya wards. “It appears prima facie that there is a scam. In Herohalli ward, the same cheque has been presented towards property tax payment of several properties. Such instances have been found in a few other wards as well giving room to suspicion that the revenue officials are involved in this scam. Given the circumstances, an investigation by the CID is essential,” he noted.
On the revenue collections in the zone, Mr. Reddy said that as against the target of Rs. 95 crore, the officials have managed to collect tax totalling Rs. 55.98 crore. He directed the officials concerned to collect the remaining tax totalling Rs. 39.02 crore in another month’s time.
As per GIS data, there are 2.13 lakh properties in the Rajarajeshwarinagar zone. The BBMP has issued PID (property identity number) to 1.96 lakh properties and is yet to issue PID to 16,500 properties.
Mr. Reddy directed the officials to revalidate the 439 commercial buildings, issue PID to the remaining properties and collect betterment charges.
He also said that next fiscal, the target tax collection from the zone should not be less than Rs. 200 crore.
Mr. Reddy said that the review meeting would be held in each zone. “We started with Rajarajeshwarinagar zone, which is also one of the largest constituencies in the city.” He said any complaints regarding irregularities in tax collection, especially from the newly added areas, may be forwarded directly to the offices of BBMP Commissioner and Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana. Mr. Sathyanarayana lambasted the revenue officials for not making any concerted efforts to collect dues and failing to revalidate the tax paid by at least 25 properties a day.
Mr. Lakshminarayan said that number of complaints of irregularities in revenue collection was high from these five wards.
“The CID investigation will instil fear among the officials. We hope to get a clearer picture of the irregularities that the tax inspectors have indulged in, which will help us crack down on the others as well,” he said.
Concurring with the Minister that tax totalling Rs. 200 crore can be collected from the zone, he said that of the 13,000 properties that are still out of the tax net, there were 938 apartment complexes and 639 commercial complexes.
“If we bring these properties under the tax net and issue PID, we can easily collect tax totalling Rs. 200 crore,” he added.