Hyderabad

GHMC mulls OTS once again

Cash strapped GHMC is mulling over offering a second round of One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme for property tax defaulters in the city, at the fag end of the financial year. The proposal has been submitted to the government for its approval, official sources informed.

The OTS scheme entails rebate of 90% in the interest payable on the property tax arrears accumulated up to the financial year 2019-20. It allows the defaulters to pay the total tax amount, along with 10% of the accumulated interest for the period, towards full settlement of arrears.

Last time, the scheme was announced from August 1, 2020, with the aim of improving the property tax collections which were hit badly during the COVID-19 lock down. Though it was targeted to collect ₹1,000 crore during the period of the scheme which was initially up to September 15, GHMC could not achieve it even after two extensions up to November 15.

Officials blame the Dharani portal work which was initiated around the same time for the underachievement. The scheme could not be extended further owing to the model code of conduct kicking in for GHMC elections.

During the three and a half months of the scheme, GHMC could collect only ₹275 crore under the OTS.

As per the GHMC records, a total of 5.46 lakh property owners owed ₹1,478 core to GHMC by way of property tax, and ₹1,018 crore compounded as interest at 2% per month, before announcement of the scheme.

Property tax collections in the current year may not reach the targeted ₹1,862 crore in the coming one month’s time before end of the financial year, given the fact that the collection up to February 25 amounted to only about ₹1,350 crore.

Another round of OTS is the only hope to improve the collections. However, the scheme cannot be announced forthwith owing to the model code of conduct in force for the MLC elections. The code will remain till counting is completed, probably up to March 20, which will leave only 11 days for the scheme till the financial year end.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 10:16:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ghmc-mulls-ots-once-again/article33943938.ece

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