Finding it hard to recover property tax dues pending against houses of government officers and officials residing in Chandigarh, the Additional Commissioner has written to the UT Administration that they would go ahead with initiating recovery proceedings, including attachment of the property, if the dues are not paid before July 31.
As many as 4,936 government houses and bungalows and 9,504 government flats owe dues of property tax amounting to Rs 4.16 crore. The property tax dues have been pending since 2013 when the administration had notified the imposition of property tax on residential buildings. The arrears have been calculated with interest till July 31, 2018.
There are 14 government houses in Sector 2, a sector that houses the residences of senior officers and other top brass which haven’t paid tax amounting to Rs 11.55 lakh. Fifty-six flats/houses in Sector 3 owe tax amounting to Rs 3,86,760. As many as 67 houses in Sector 4 and eight houses in Sector 5 too owe property tax dues amounting to Rs 8.21 lakh and Rs 3.92 lakh, respectively. Among other major defaulters are those residing in Sector 7, as dues amount to Rs 43.21 lakh. The houses /bungalows in Sector 4 and 5 are mostly occupied by top brass of UT Administration, judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Sector 7 bungalows are occupied by IAS, IPS officers and other top brass of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh governments. The government flats include the dwelling units occupied by government officials in sectors 11, 15, 19, 20, 23, 24,27,28, 46, 29, 33 and various others, all maintained by the UT engineering wing.
A letter has been sent by Additional Commissioner to UT Chief Engineer with a list of details of the number of government houses and flats which owe lakhs of dues. As per details, it is UT Chief Engineer who maintains and is responsible for all the government dwelling units.
The letter by Additional Commissioner states, “In case no reply is received from you within 30 days from the date of the issue, it will be presumed that you have nothing to object, the amount of tax arrear worked out against you and accepted the same as correct by you. Accordingly, you are liable to deposit the tax arrear of Rs 4,16,58,016 by July 31, 2018. In case you fail to make the payment of the above-said tax arrear by July 31, 2018, recovery proceedings will be initiated for the outstanding tax with penal interest.”
It was further added, “ And if tax and other dues are still not paid, the Commissioner MC shall proceed to take action in accordance with provisions of Section 138 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976 as extended to Union Territory of Chandigarh which is- by distraint and sale of defaulter’s immovable property, by attachment and sale of defaulter’s immovable property, by attachment of rent due in respect of that property and by a suit.”
Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav said, “It is UT Chief Engineer who is responsible for the government houses. So it has been written to him. It is up to him, whether he takes the outstanding dues from the occupant of the house.”
Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand refused to comment anything on the issue. “I can’t say anything about it,” he told Chandigarh Newsline. A senior official of the UT engineering wing said that the outstanding dues were likely to be paid from UT funds.
The property tax dues have been pending since 2013 when the administration had notified the imposition of property tax on residential buildings. The arrears have been calculated with interest till July 31, 2018.
The Chandigarh MC in its letter states that if the dues are not paid, “Chief Engineer shall be solely responsible for the action initiated.”