Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MCD property tax amnesty scheme has few takers

The property tax amnesty scheme launched by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to encourage tax defaulters to pay up their dues
failed to people. Only 27,000 property owners came forward to pay their dues even as the civic agency was expecting at least 20 lakh people to turn up.

Meanwhile, looking at the dismal response, the civic agency decided to extend the date for the amnesty scheme to December 31 the last date before this was October 31. According to MCD officials, all those who fail to pay their property tax by December 31 will be issued showcause notices. Defaulters will have to face harsh penalties like sealing of bank accounts, attachment or auctioning of property and even prison terms, the officials said.

"We were expecting more people to file their property tax as there are approximately 30 lakh properties in the city while only 7.5-9 lakh people pay their tax. We have data on property owners and will issue showcause notices to them. Their properties can be auctioned if they failed to pay up by December 31,'' said MCD commissioner K S Mehra.

The amnesty scheme was launched to get such owners in the tax-net. "We have received Rs 70 crore as property tax from 27,000 people. The Survey of India is also conducting a survey to determine all those property owners who are not in the tax net of the civic agency,'' said an MCD official. The survey was completed in northeast district recently and around 3.5 lakh properties for which tax was not paid were identified in the area, the official said.

"We received a large number of representations from resident welfare associations (RWAs) who said they could not avail of the scheme due to the festive season. They had requested us to extend the last date for paying the tax,'' said Ram Kishan Singhal, chairman of the standing committee.

The civic agency had said that all those who remained defaulters after December 31 would have to pay a penalty of 30%. In addition to this, 1% interest will be levied every month till the amount is finally paid.

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