A Thane-based political party has approached the Bombay High Court seeking direction to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to implement the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) property tax Urban Local Body (ULB) level reforms.
According to the petition filed by one Rajendra Phanse,general secretary of ‘Dharmarajya Paksha’,the civic body,since the launch of the JNNURM scheme in December 2007,has been neglecting implementation of property tax as prescribed under the scheme for ULBs.
“It is mandatory for the municipal corporations to follow the JNNURM property tax ULB level reforms which are formed to eliminate weaknesses and deficiencies of the current property tax collection system,” the petition states.
It further claims that to make the present system more efficient and effective,the ULB level reforms,as directed by JNNURM,should be implemented in totality.
“The civic body’s neglect to implant the tax system as prescribed by JNNURM has resulted in outstanding tax arrears of over Rs 8,000 crores. The present property tax hike rate is unequal and metes out injustice to certain portion of property holders in the city,” the petition claims.
According to the petitioner,under the JNNURM scheme corporations are required to improvise tax collections up to 85 per cent. However,with the present tax collection system,the civic body is able to recover only 60 per cent,the petition states.
The petition has sought direction to the municipal corporation to implement the JNNURM property tax scheme and to take steps for recovery of arrears of Rs 8,000 crores within a period of one year.
“The guidelines of JNNURM emphasise the need for proper mapping of properties so that the ULB has a full record of properties in the city and bring them under the tax net.
The corporation should be directed to conduct door-to-door survey and form a Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping all the properties,” the petition seeks.
A vacation bench of Justices A M Thipsay and R D Dhanuka today posted the petition for hearing on June 14.