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Overwhelming response to AMC's property tax recovery drive Sunday, July 8, 2001
By Civic Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: It was a unique sight to behold. Many Amdavadis, who had been at loggerheads with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) over its property taxation -- and had even taken to legal recourse -- queued up to clear their years-old tax dues and boosted the civic body's income by Rs 4 lakh on Friday.
At its first Lok Darbar in Dariyapur in central zone (held specially to address pending property tax cases), the tax department officials and AMC's tax committee chairman Vinodbhai Modi were in for a pleasant surprise when they had 50 tax-payers queuing up to clear their dues, some of which had been pending for about a decade.
With AMC's recent decision for waiver of 17 per cent penalty interest for tax defaulters being a convincing factor the corporation expects old property tax dues worth Rs 7 lakh to fill its fast-emptying coffers on Saturday too.
"The response was overwhelming for both parties," said Modi, adding, "while we were surprised at the organised manner in which the Lok Darbar went off with many tax-payers clearing their dues on the spot. For the tax-payers it was like a wish fulfilled as they went away showering blessings on us for having sorted out their years-old problems."
Of the 32,455 cases that have been pending for years (some as old as 15 years) 16,079 have been resolved while the rest of the cases will be sorted out through similar Lok Darbars in all AMC's five zones. "The next such property-tax programme is slated for the Shahpur and Khadia areas. Within the next three months we should get a sum of Rs 20 crore in our coffers," informed Modi.
After being in financial doldrums for more than four months now the increase in revenue through clearance of old property tax dues is the first good news for AMC. The central zone has recorded a jump in monthly income of Rs 3.08 crore from June 1 to July 6, 2001, as compared to the 6.9 lakh of last year.
With similar revenue boosts recorded in the other four zones the AMC now boasts of an average monthly increase of 1.5 crore. But, even with this better tax collection the corporation is still looking at a 43 per cent decrease in its annual income when compared with the corresponding period of last year.
News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]