Poor tax collection brings down LSGI revenue

Inefficiency in tax collection and lack of a comprehensive database on tax and unauthorised structures have been eating into the revenue of local self-government institutions (LSGIs).

According to a Comptroller and Auditor General report on the local self-government institutions for the year ended March 2014, which was tabled in the Assembly on Monday, property tax collection efficiency of the local governments was not encouraging.

Property tax

They did not have a system to identify and list all buildings liable for property tax assessment and there was a delay in assessment too.

A sum of Rs.25.38 crore was pending collection in 40 panchayats, 20 municipalities, and one corporation as on March last.

The delay in implementing plinth area-based tax system in nine LSGIs itself had resulted in short levy of Rs.81.32 lakh.

In the absence of a comprehensive professional tax database, professionals and traders had escaped assessment that led to leakage of Rs.98.45 lakh.

The panchayati raj institutions did not have any database of the land under their ambit. The asset registers maintained by them were not exhaustive and deficient in many aspects.

They did not have title deeds of all land acquired by them.

None of the local governments test-checked by the auditors had a land use plan and that led to non-utilisation of land acquired even for specific purposes.

Productive sector

The amount spent by the local governments for productive sector accounted only for 7.54 per cent of the total development expenditure for 2013-14 and 11.32 per cent during the last five years from 2009-10 to 2013-14. This was an indication that the LSGIs had given only a low priority to agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing, industries, and such other sectors.

Audit of financial transactions in various local bodies and the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) found instances of idle investment, revenue loss, and unfruitful expenditure too under various heads.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 9:49:22 pm |