Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation has started issuing property tax bills much before the usual time this year,the number of people paying tax online has risen considerably over the past one year. In 2007-08,the property tax paid online by citizens was Rs 2.11 crore,in 2008-09 it has risen to Rs 7.11 crore.
PMCs tax collection department chief Vilas Kanade said,In 2007,we managed to collect Rs 344 crore. While the amount paid through ward offices is still quite high,we have seen a rise in tax payment through online services,thanks to the upgradation in our service.
Right now,the online property tax payment facility is provided with the help of banks HDFC and ICICI and people can access it by logging on to http://www.punecorporation.org
Kanade said,people having a credit card of any bank can avail themselves of this service. The PMC has also provided a drop box facility at Bank of Maharashtra and payment in person through Cosmos Bank.
Citizens are responding well to this service now. Till last year,there were a number of technical hitches that people faced,like no payment shown despite paying the tax. But now,we immediately issue a receipt as soon as the payment is done,which has removed the problems to a major extent, Kanade said.
I receive a number of messages from the online users now,which say that they will also tell their relatives and friends to use the online payment facility. This year,the PMC has started issuing property tax bills well before their usual practice of sending the bills.
The tax department has given training in soft skills to those employees who will be dispatching these bills to people. Many times,it happens that people complain about their property tax problems to those who just go and drop the bills. Therefore,in order to avoid the incidences of verbal clashes between them,we held special workshops for the employees,directing them not to indulge in any misconduct and to deal with such people well, Kanade said.
The civic employees might get irritated when people start complaining about the tax issues to them. In such cases,the employees answer them rudely and it might lead to clashes,and there have been a few incidences like this before.