Staff Reporter (Krishna Prasad)

Bangalore: Should I sell my property to pay property tax? Why prompt tax payers are punished instead of penalising tax evaders? Why all properties are not assessed to tax? Akrama-Sakramma scheme should be implemented scientifically. Not all unauthorised constructions should be regularised…

These were among criticisms and suggestions from the Bangaloreans who participated in the public discussion on the issues related to CVS and Akrama Sakrama scheme organised by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Tuesday.

Pointing out that many property owners will be forced to pay up lakhs of rupees as property tax under CVS as against Rs 10,000 being paid under annual rental value (ARV) based system, a resident Mr. Balakrishna questioned how can the guidance value become a basis for assessing the property tax. “We will be able to pay Rs 1lakh as property tax only if we sell the property,” he said.

Representatives of Bangalore East Residents’ Welfare Association and many others said that any rise or change in property tax system affect only the prompt tax payers.

“Why is it that the civic body, even after decades of its formation, has no details of all the properties in its jurisdiction and why more than 60 per cent of properties are not assessed for tax,” questioned Niranjan of Banashankari. Lack of information on all properties indicates that the city administration had failed to discharge its duty effectively. Proper assessment of tax and bring all properties under tax will increase BBMP’s earning at least by 2,000 crore, he said.

Citizen Action Forum’s N.S. Mukunda demanded that the ARV system should be introduced throughout the state repealing the CVS by amending the relevant provisions of law.

Akrama-Sakrama:

While discussions mainly revolved around CVS than Akrama-Sakrama scheme, the residents demanded that the Government should hold a series of such discussions in all the 28 assembly segments in the city as Sakrama scheme was finalised without considering public opinion.

Many participants accused the Bangalore Development Authority of failing to meet the demand for allotting sites, which forced the people to buy revenue sites or sites in unauthorised layouts. “People will try to buy sites when rate of interest on borrowing is low and when they can arrange money. It is the duty of the BDA to meet the demand of the people but its failure has led to ‘unauthorised’ developments,” said Mr. Hussain of Kalyannagar.

While the three-hour long programme provided platform to some to place their views, a majority of participants could not express their views. This led to commotion through out the three-hour-long programme as the people wanted to get hold of wireless microphone and Transport Minister R. Ashok literally became a moderator of the event by trying to pacify the people and ensuring that senior citizen got opportunity to speak.

Protest

Hundreds of residents staged a demonstration outside Ravindra Kalakshetra – where the discussions was being held – as the authorities allowed only those having official invitation to enter the premises. However, Mr. Ashok, pacified the agitators and directed the officials to allow all of them to participate in the discussions. The BBMP had arranged lunch for over 1,000 people who participated in the discussion.

Ends // kp

BOX SUGGESTED:

PEOPLE SPEAK:

Only 40 percent of properties in city are assessed

*Akrama-Sakrama is not scientific

*More public discussions should be held

*ARV system should be for entire state

*BDA’s failure resulted in unauthorised developments

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