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    Published On : Tue, Jul 11th, 2017

    NMC ignores property tax, hopes for State Govt’s grant


    Nagpur:
    Nagpur Municipal Corporation is very much on its way to becoming an organisation run by government’s aid rather than being self-governed independent body, thanks to the inactive officials ignoring prime revenue sources for couple of years.

    The property tax which has been the main source of revenue for NMC is being reportedly overlooked. Despite the acute financial crunch, NMC has not initiated any fool proof mechanism to collect property taxes from big defaulters in the city. Instead, the civic body has pinned its hopes on the grant by State government.

    NMC requires Rs 150 cr per month

    In view of increasing urbanisation, NMC would require a whopping amount of Rs 150 crore to maintain the city. The said capital is required to be accumulated through tax collection, lease, NOC, plan sanctioning and other heads. However instead of focusing on these areas, the civic body officials often blame it on political leaders who often interfere in their way of achieving the revenue targets.

    Political influence defeats purpose

    Experts believe that the property tax should be the lead source of revenue for NMC and it should be carried out smoothly without political interference.However insiders informed that many corporators and office bearers often demand fund for developments and when the NMC administration takes to strict measures to generate funds, they jump in the first place to create hinderance.

    Many properties not taxed since years

    An estimate shows that there are around 2-2.5 lakh properties thriving within NMC limits, without paying any tax for the past many years. NMC is expected to finish the ongoing property tax survey by December 2017, following which the numbers are expected to rise upto 7.5 lakh properties. Experts suggest that this counts for a big tax corpus and this would end the financial drought in the local body.

    Exhume buried files now

    One more interesting fact is that the files of many cases pertaining to various irregularities are biting the dust at NMC’s property tax department. These include wrong evaluation of propert tax, octroi and LBT evasion etc. Such cases should also be evaluated by NMC Commissioner with priority.

    Next comes water tax
    NMC’s second biggest source of revenue is water tax which is certainly on the lower side as compared to the number of connections distributed. The fault lies in giving domestic connection at commercial establishments and doling out connections to illegally set up slum areas.

    Lack of transparency

    Besides, there is an alarming lack of transparency in various works related to NMC like approvals in town plannning, revenue from lease or rent, fire NOCs and similar other departments which often hide the net incoming into these heads. Even as the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has started its amnesty scheme followed by series of meetings to accumulate water and property taxes in order to hike its revenue, a high degree of stress is need to be paid on ways to improvise the collection pattern. Though there will be a spate of meetings from July 11 to July 17, attended by NMC Commissioner, Standing Committtee Chairman, Ruling Party leader, and Chief of water and property tax committee, a larger system is needed to bring a fully transparent system.

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