Urban local bodies get demonetisation boost

Demonetisation has worked magic for the urban local bodies (ULBs) across the Telangana State with the property tax collection swelling like never before.

By allowing citizens to pay through old demonetised currency notes of ₹ 500 and ₹1000, the collection from 71 municipal bodies, excluding Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), was ₹214.59 crore in November last year!

It is a good ₹181 crore more when compared to the tax collection the previous year in the same month. The December 2016 property tax collection too was not that bad with ₹27.03 crore, though it was less than the amount collected during the same month in the previous year.

The ‘demonetisation’ month or period of November 11 to 24 when the Government permitted limited transactions through old notes, including payment of taxes and official dues, has helped the local bodies to mop up more than ₹ 250 crore by December-end when the total demand is about ₹ 346.5 crore, including arrears, and current assessment of ₹ 266.5 crore and arrears of ₹79 crore.

“We have had good collection despite constraints of staff crunch with 13 ULBs having mopped up 82 % like Medipally and Boduppal. Property tax collection of another 24 local bodies is between 40 % to 60 % but we also have places like Zaheerabad and Wanaparthy which have had zero collection in last few days,” Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration (CDMA) T.K. Sridevi said.

Mopping up

Holding regular interactions and video-conferencing is going on between her and the municipal commissioners or officers in-charge in the last few months to keep a tab on the tax collection considering the deadline of March 31 is fast approaching.

“We expect the collection to pick up as most citizens pay in March and also because the Government is disinclined to give any interest waiver this year,” she says.

There are more than 16 lakh property assessments in the municipal bodies across the state and following GIS surveys completed in 33 ULBs, 20,000 new properties were unearthed and ₹34 crore realised in 32 of them.

Govt. properties

However, the tax collection for the Government properties has been very poor. For the 35,543 properties across the urban local bodies, tax collection so far has been just ₹9.75 crore when a whopping ₹81.5 crore has to be collected including arrears.

All the district collectors, in a written communication, have been urged to take up on priority the collection of property tax from Central and State government properties as it has direct bearing on the financial position of ULBs.

“All these will be factored when the credit rating agencies assess the municipality concerned,” points out Dr. Sridevi.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 4:40:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/urban-local-bodies-get-demonetisation-boost/article17413265.ece

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