Decision likely after Municipal Commissioner's return from Hyderabad

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is awaiting the full text of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Division Bench's conditional stay given on Monday on property tax payment.

Sources say that the corporation has sought the copy of the order from its standing counsel in the High Court. “Unless we see it and go through it, we can't take any decision on its implementation.”

Municipal Commissioner V.N. Vishnu has left for Hyderabad for a review of the JNNURM works with the Chief Minister. He is expected to return on Thursday after which a decision is likely.

Meanwhile, it is not possible to accept the tax at 75 per cent enhancement at eSeva and Saukaryam counters as the software does not allow it, sources say.

Once the order is made available, it will be clear whether the relief is given to the petitioners or to all tax-payers, it is felt.

The CPI(M) has already demanded that revised demand notices be issued to those who have not paid the tax and adjust it against future demand in the case of those who have paid.

A counter affidavit will be filed as directed by the court.

BJP demand

The BJP on Tuesday wanted the GVMC not to raise the property tax beyond 75 per cent as ordered by a Division Bench of the AP High Court in its conditional stay.

It its counter-affidavit it should state that it would cap the increase at 75 per cent, a city BJP delegation urged in a memorandum submitted to Additional Commissioner (Finance) P. Purnachandra Rao. It also demanded that the ‘unilateral hike' should be withdrawn and new demand notices issued. Also the tax collected above 75 per cent from taxpayers should either be returned or adjusted against subsequent year's instalment, Mr. Nagendra said.

He recalled that the BJP had always supported the GVMC general body resolution capping the hike at a maximum of 50 per cent and organised several protests against the abnormal increase in property tax and submitted a memorandum to the then Chief Minister K. Rosaiah during his visit to the city.

The delegation included party leaders P.V.N. Madhav and T. Subbarami Reddy.