Staff Reporter

Rs. 2.15 cr. collected on the last day of the financial year

VIJAYAWADA: Setting a new record in tax collection, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) mopped up as much as Rs. 2.15 crores towards property tax and other related taxes on the last day of the financial year 2006-07 on Saturday.

VMC Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar said on Sunday that this was, by far, the highest collection in a day in the history of the VMC, and could also be the highest single day collection in the entire State.

The amount, which was realised in the form of cash as well as cheques at eSeva centres and the VMC offices, came under the head of property tax (Rs. 1.84 crores), water cess (Rs. 8.26 lakhs) and sewerage charges (Rs 2.87 lakhs).

In addition, tax on vacant lands was collected to the tune of Rs. 19.24 lakhs, while tax on commercial complexes was collected to an extent of Rs. 1.01 lakhs. About Rs.20 lakh worth cheques were issued in the name of the Commissioner, and they would be sent to banks to deposit the amount in the corporation's account.

Special drive

VMC Additional Commissioner G.P. Neelakantham said that the record collection was made possible thanks to a vigorous special drive taken up at the instance of Mr. Gulzar, who had set targets to all revenue inspectors and bill collectors.

Special teams were formed and `big defaulters' were identified.

Employing a carrot-and-stick policy, the VMC revenue staff approached the big defaulters after serving demand notices and persuaded them to cough up the dues. Those who did not fall in line were threatened with disconnection of water and sewerage connections.

Mr. Neelakantam said the corporation had been able to realise about Rs. 10.10 crores during March, and the special drive would continue in April to collect the remaining dues.