Staff Reporter

It plans to advance the schedule in view of elections, preparation of voters’ list

Rs. 20 cr. collected as the property tax during first half of the year

Vacant land tax collection is likely to touch Rs. 6 crores this year

VIJAYAWADA: The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is gearing up to serve the property tax demand notices by the end of this month. The Corporation has planned to advance the schedule of serving demand notices in view of ensuing elections and preparation of electoral list. Usually, the VMC serves notices during December.

The corporation fixed targets to its Revenue Inspectors (RIs) and Bill Collectors for the second half of the financial year, and is expecting revenue of Rs. 45 crore towards property tax (PT) this year. Now, the staff would have about four months in hand to meet the targets.

And, the duties like voter list preparation would not affect the targets and collections, says B. Nagendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner (Revenue).

The VMC, so far, collected Rs. 20 crores as the property tax during first half of the year.

The property tax collections stood at Rs. 18.81 crores during September and another Rs. 1.20 crore was collected by the end of October.

Mr. Nagendra Kumar says that the Corporation made some organisational changes in the revenue wing. The number of revenue wards was increased to 55 from existing 36.

The manpower is being under utilised as there is “no specific job chart” for the employees working in enforcement teams. So, the staff working in enforcement team would be asked to collect taxes in some revenue wards, and it would minimise the work load on the RIs, he says.

Special drive

The proposed 15-day special drive to step up the Vacant Land Tax (VLT) collections during the current financial year is yet to take off.

To keep momentum of the VLT collections this year too, the Corporation had identified 30 major vacant lands in prime areas, including Bandar Road, Eluru Road, and Patamata in the city.

It is keeping an eye on vacant lands in other areas like Bhavanipuram which has the highest number of vacant plots.

The officials are expecting VLT to fetch revenue of between Rs. 1 crore and Rs 2 crores during the current financial year.

The VMC collected more than Rs. 5 crores as VLT last year, while it was about Rs. 3.8 crores before last year. The number of VLT assessments went up to 9,500 when the Corporation added nearly 3,500 assessments last year. Now, the VMC has set a target to add another 1,000 assessments this year so that Corporation would fetch at least another Rs. 1 crore more towards the VLT. Consequently, the VLT collection is likely to touch Rs. 6 crores this year, officials say. When asked, the DC(R) says the special drive would be taken up as soon as Municipal Commissioner P.S. Pradyumna gives a formal nod to it.