WITH NO written records of how much property tax has each of the residents paid and how much is pending, the Panchkula Municipal Corporation has woken up from a deep slumber and decided to rope in an agency to collect and maintain the details of all tax-payers ever since the corporation started collecting property tax in 2010.
The decision was taken during an MC House meeting at Red Bishop, Sector 1, here on Tuesday.
Raising the issue, as part of the agenda, Municipal Commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda said that the corporation was currently collecting tax from residents on the basis of self-assessment forms. However, since 2010, there had been no records of self-assessment forms, due to which the MC had not been able to ascertain as to how many property owners had deposited the tax over the last five years.
“There is no self-assessment and no proper records of how much each of the property owner has paid as tax since 2010. There is no clarity on how much tax is pending, and how much recovery is to be made. The corporation has no clue. Therefore, we propose that a database be prepared for all the households on the property tax, pending and deposited, and the task be given to a private firm,” said Dhanda.
According to the proposed plan, a professional private agency would be roped in which will collect the information and receipts from the banks authorised for collection of the property tax, and maintain the records. There will be no change in the process of tax collection, which will be done by MC officials; only the record-keeping will be done by the private firm. A survey will also be done by it.
The corporation stressed the lack of infrastructure and adequate manpower. “There is no adequate infrastructure to do the task. We have three vacant posts of zonal taxation officers,” said Dhanda, highlighting the need for a proper detailed survey.
Talking about the issues, local BJP MLA Gian Chand Gupta said, “It is a pity that we do not have staff to maintain the records of the property tax collected so far. It is the only source of income for the corporation.”
“With no records either written or online, how can one expect the MC to ensure complete transparency in tax collection?” asked ward no 9 councillor C B Goel.
The corporation is mulling over roping in HARTRON for the purpose, or a private firm will be selected by inviting bids.
Some of the councillors also requested the House to write to the government to extend the last date for submitting the property tax to December 31. Earlier, the last date was August 31.
Amartex Chowk to be Bhagwan Parshuram Chowk
The House also passed a proposal for renaming the Amartex Chowk near Industrial Area, Phase 1, as Bhagwan Parshuram Chowk, and the road leading from Sector 17 to Sector 20 as the Bhagwan Parshuram Marg.
The proposal was mooted by ward no 15 councillor Omwati Poonia and passed with a majority vote. However, ward no 9 councillor C B Goel raised his objection, arguing that renaming a place after a religious
figure was inappropriate and would be harmful in the long run. However, the proposal will require a formal nod from the Haryana Urban Development Authority before it can be implemented.
The corporation also unanimously agreed to resume the work of patch-work of roads and filling up of the potholes. Emphasising the need for proper monitoring at all levels, Municipal Commissioner Jagdeep Dhanda said that councillors should also examine work at their levels. “A separate wing has been formed for the repair of roads, and it has already started the patchwork from Sector 5,” he said.
The shortage of sanitation workers, lack of proper sanitation, installation of street lights, lack of funds, construction of parks in villages were some of the other issues discussed at the meeting.