Comes out with new policy on advertisement fee collection

Criminal cases to be booked against tax defaulters

No penalty on current year tax

till December 31

HYDERABAD: With its spending outpacing its revenues, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has announced a series of measures to mobilise resources, including taking a tough action against tax defaulters and ‘capture’ un-assessed and under-assessed properties. A new advertisement fee collection policy too has been introduced.

Criminal cases are to be booked against those who had defaulted on property tax payments by issuing bounced cheques. Each year, 2,000 cheques get bounced amounting to over Rs. 2 crore and till recently, only legal notices were issued.

Enforcement teams

Commissioner S.P. Singh, after a marathon meeting on Tuesday, said enforcement teams would be deployed at zonal and circle levels to take on the top defaulters. He would personally deal with cases of default of Rs. 50 lakh and more while the remaining would be dealt by Additional Commissioner (Finance) B. Ramesh Babu and 17 other senior officials like Additional, Joint and Zonal Commissioners re-designated as ‘resource monitoring officers’.

A private agency is to be engaged to identify properties yet to come under the tax dragnet and also those converted to commercial in two months.

Mr. Singh pointed out that information submitted in Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS) and the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) applications could be utilised to assess the precise tax on big residential buildings and commercial properties.

To encourage defaulters to pay up, no penalty would be imposed on current year tax till December 31, while penalty on long-standing dues would be reduced by half (from 24 per cent to 12 per cent). Out of court settlements through Lok Adalat are to be pursued.

Rs. 1.500-cr. target

The GHMC has set a target of above Rs. 1,500 crore in revenue collection with Rs. 750 crore expected to come from property tax alone. Mr. Singh, confident about getting more from advertisement fee, has decentralised the collection with new ad officers to be appointed at circle level.

Modalities prepared

Clear cut modalities have been prepared to improve the tax base.

A new software would soon issue pin numbers to taxpayers. Circle-wise data on existing hoardings, uni-poles and signboards is to be gathered to collect 200 per cent penalty from illegal ones. Cash incentives are on the offer for staff achieving 100 per cent collection, he added.