GHMC eyes tax from Metro


After lapse of court stay on the issue, civic body asks officials to make assessment

The GHMC has initiated the exercise of evaluating the Hyderabad Metro Rail structures for property tax, by asking zonal and deputy commissioners to take up assessment of the built-up areas of the structures falling into their jurisdiction.

Even as the Raidurg-Hitech City stretch of metro rail is being launched on Friday, the GHMC has not received a single rupee of property tax on the structures, which include metro rail stations and commercial complexes built by the concessionaire L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail.

An official, on condition of anonymity, said demand notices were served three years ago on L&T HMRby the Serilingampally circle officials, for payment of property tax on the structures in Miyapur.

Tax calculated over the stations, multiplexes, and other structures amounted to over ₹1.25 crore then, for which notices were served.

However, L&T HMR approached the High Court over the notices, citing a clause in the concessionaire agreement, according to which it was not bound to pay property tax. As per the said clause, all property taxes on the sites shall be payable by the government as owner of the site. The High Court, taking cognisance of the clause, ordered an interim stay on the notices, giving relief to the L&T HMR.

Post the stay, two years ago, GHMC wrote to the State government, for payment of property tax on more than 10 Metro Rail structures built in Uppal, Serilingampally and Qutbullahpur circles. The tax, along with arrears for two years, amounted to ₹8 crore then. However, there had been no response to the letter, officials said.

In March this year, the GHMC commissioner had circulated instructions to the deputy and zonal commissioners, apprising them of the court direction, and asking them to inspect the sites, and assess and levy property tax as applicable. The same should be communicated to the head office, to be forwarded to the government for follow-up.

However, under the burden of various initiatives taken by GHMC since then, the circle and zonal level officials have not sent the reports so far, triggering another reminder recently about the same.

The officials have also been asked to report any deviation from the approved plan and purpose of the structures, for levying penalties as per the rule book on the concessionaire.

The total tax payable on all the structures could amount to ₹10 crore to ₹15 crore per annum, officials estimate.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 9:12:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ghmc-eyes-tax-from-metro/article30109682.ece

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