Andhra Pradesh

Water tax to be collected online from farmers

In a major change in the way water tax is collected from the farmers, the State government has decided to introduce online system from this Fasli year (a period of 12 months commencing on the first day of July every year).

The tax can also be paid at the Village Secretariat / Mee Seva centre, for which user charges will be collected.

The Revenue Department has so far been collecting the tax from the farmers directly and depositing the amount in the Irrigation account.

Under the new system, the tax will be decided based on the crop cultivated.

According to information, as part of the e-Governance initiative, a Water Tax Module has been developed and integrated into the e-Panta app.

Testing of the module on a pilot basis has been completed in Kaikalur mandal of Krishna district. The software for entering the Demand Collection Balance (DCB) is now ready for implementation across the State from this kharif season.

Interest on arrears

In a circular recently, Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) and Special Chief Secretary Neerabh Kumar Prasad asked the district Collectors to initiate steps to collect the water tax for the current Fasli year, including arrears if any with 6% interest.

The DCB of the individual farmer / farmers will get electronically generated and sent to their mobile phone numbers. The farmers can make payments at the nearest Grama Sachivlayam/ Mee Seva centre, and for each transaction they will get an SMS on their mobile phone numbers. A physical copy of the DCB will also be issued to the farmer / farmers concerned.

User charges

“For every payment at the Village Secretariat / Mee Seva centre, a user charge of ₹15 will be applicable,” sources say.

The new system will help in ensuring accuracy in arriving at the water tax demand, collection, and immediate remittance. It also helps in apportionment and transfer of funds to the Water Users’ Association (WUAs) and Grama Panchayats in a systematic, accountable and transparent manner, the sources say.

The Village Revenue Officer (VRO) arrives at the tax demand payable by the farmer / farmers as per the provisions of the A.P. Water Tax Act, 1988, by making a field visit and duly comparing the Adangal with Form- IB. The data mapped by the WUAs, along with the Adangal, will be shared to the e-Crop team to decide the category of irrigation. At the end of the crop season, the category of irrigation, along with the e-Crop data, will be shared to the WebLand to generate the Current Fasli Demand in the Water Tax Module, the sources say.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 4:50:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/water-tax-to-be-collected-online-from-farmers/article32186756.ece

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