With octroi set to be scrapped from July 1 as GST rolls out, civic staff working at the five octroi plazas in the city will be accommodated within the assessor and collection department, after they qualify an internal written exam. Senior officials said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering setting up parking lots or interstate bus terminal at the octroi nakas.
Officials from the assessor and collection department, which looks after property tax and octroi work, said the department had approximately 35 per cent vacancies, as there had been no hiring in the past five years. While the required staff in the department is 3,500, the existing strength is 2,400. Around 1,300 people, including 300 labourers, are involved in octroi collection.
“There is a shortage of around 500 staff members in the property tax section. Hence, some of the octroi staff can be easily accommodated. The laborers will have to be posted elsewhere,” said an official from the department.
Senior civic official said the civic body has set up a three-member committee to monitor the internal departmental exam process, which will be conducted by a third party agency.
“We are considering an exam. Those who will qualify will remain in the department, while others will go as surplus staff to the general administration department and be deputed in other roles,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, in-charge of the assessment and collection department.
Another official said the civic body’s plan of conducting an exam is to see how many people suit the needs of the department.
“After the capital value based property tax system has been introduced, several changes, including computerisation, have taken place in the department. We need to retain people who will be able to work in the existing system,” an official said.
The official further said some of the staff would continue to work at the octroi plazas. “We need some staff at all the five plazas for work such as closing of the records, several litigations and auditing. Besides, we also need to protect the land of the octroi plazas,” added the official.
Another official said there had been several suggestions about utilising the land, which is marked for civic use in the draft development plan of 2014-2034. “Some of the options include a multi-storey truck and interstate bus terminus. We want the buses and trucks to park at the nakas so that traffic on the roads can be reduced to an extent,” said a senior official.