Decision to defer the proposed revision was taken at recent Cabinet meeting

The government has put on hold its decision to review property tax structure for the time being. The decision to defer the proposed revision was taken at the recently held Cabinet meeting, it was learnt reliably.

As per the government's advice, the Local Administration Department had proposed to increase property tax for residential buildings by 10 per cent and commercial establishments by 20 per cent as part of its effort to mobilise internal resources.

The department had sent the proposal for consideration and was included as part of agenda at the Cabinet meeting held a few days ago. In view of the ensuing Assembly elections, the proposed revision had been withheld, sources in the government said.

With government deciding not to revise the tax for the time being and revenue collection falling short, the civic bodies, particularly the Puducherry and Oulgaret Municipalities, are all set to conduct special camps in the coming months to achieve the target set for property tax collection.

The Puducherry Municipality has proposed to collect a sum of Rs. 2.8 crore through property tax for 2010-11. It also planned to collect an amount of Rs. 1.9 core as arrears accumulated during the last several years. From April to November last year, the civic body managed to collect Rs. 96.2 lakh, most of it came through special camps held recently.

A major share of the arrears had to come from the Anglo-French Textiles and Swadeshee-Bharathee Textile Mills, officials said.

The Oulgaret Municipality proposed to collect Rs. 1.23 crore during the current financial year and another Rs. 3 crore as arrears. As on November 2010, the municipality collected Rs. 1.12 crore, a senior official told The Hindu.

Both the municipalities together collect tax for around 85,000 buildings, including residential and commercial establishments. The authorities were of the belief that they would be able to improve the tax collection in the days to come through special camps. The municipalities have planned to conduct special camps on most of the Saturday's and Sunday's in the coming months.