Taking cognizance of the notices being issued to Panchkula residents despite the due payments of property tax, local MLA and Haryana Legislative Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta has asked the matter be investigated by authorities.
Gupta raised the issue in a meeting with Urban Local Bodies Director Amit Aggarwal at the Legislative Assembly Secretariat. He said that despite payment of property tax, notices are being served to residents. “This indicates serious irregularities which should be investigated by appropriate authorities. Along with this, I have given instructions to give two more months for deposit of property tax payment to people who received such notices. “
The notices have mostly been served to people belonging to the economically weaker section and those living in Ashiana flats, even though the government has exempted properties up to 50 square yards from such taxes.
The matter came to light after a complaint was received from the residents that notices are being served to the people by the Urban Bodies Department, despite payment of property tax. In many such cases, when property owners went to the department’s office with their receipt of payment, the officials said they hold no record of it.
Gupta also asked Amit Agarwal, director general of the Urban Bodies Department, to revise the advertisement rates in public places in the city. He said that due to high rates, businessmen are not willing to spend on advertisements, due to which most of the hoardings remain vacant. He said that the advertisement rates in Panchkula have been fixed on the lines of metropolitan cities like Delhi and Gurugram, which is not rational. Advertising rates should be rationalised so that the Municipal Corporation may earn better revenues.
Cash deposit on counters not being recorded
Property tax is paid to the Urban Bodies Department in three ways. Most people deposit cash at the department’s office through banks. Others have also started making online payments. It has been observed that people depositing cash in the offices are facing most issues. It is feared that the employees present there do not maintain its record after taking the cash, due to which notices are being served to the people again.
Doubts on firm’s working, order for probe
The Urban Bodies Department had tied up with a private company for the collection of property tax in Panchkula.
In return, the department had paid a hefty payment to the company. Now the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly says that if there was such a flaw in the company’s work, how was it paid? He has ordered an inquiry into the matter. Gupta says that while people are facing problems, there is also a possibility of economic loss.
He said that a large number of senior citizens live in Panchkula and they are facing a lot of issues due to the lax working style of the firm’s employees.
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