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MCD plans amnesty to net property tax evaders

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD),by its own estimation,is losing out on property tax from almost two-third of property owners in the Capital.

Written by Deepu Sebastian Edmond | New Delhi |
July 2, 2009 1:05:18 am

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD),by its own estimation,is losing out on property tax from almost two-third of property owners in the Capital. The civic body now has a twin-plan to net the tax evaders: dishing out a carrot in the form of an amnesty scheme,and simultaneously taking the help of data provided by the Survey of India to track defaulters.

The MCD as of now has data of 9.46 lakh taxpayers but it estimates that the total number of property owners in the city are three times that figure. “The Delhi Jal Board has details of 14 lakh property owners to whom it supplies water but our understanding is there are 27 lakh property owners in Delhi,” Rakesh Rajora,member of the MCD’s high-powered committee on property tax and councillor from Vasant Kunj,said.

After the Survey of India assured the Corporation that its data will be made available from this month,the MCD is now planning a massive amnesty scheme to encourage defaulters to pay up. The amnesty scheme,to be discussed in the MCD Standing Committee on Thursday,will be implemented with retrospective effect from April 1,2004 — the time the unit area method was started.

The scheme,with an October 31,2009 deadline,proposes to waive the full penalty and interest.

Though details of the survey are not available,the amnesty scheme assumes that most tax evaders are from unauthorised colonies or urban villages in Delhi. But municipal officials said there is a good chance that the data would affect current taxpayers as well.

Standing Committee Chairman Ram Kishan Singhal said: “Many commercial and residential property owners who pay tax have made additions to existing structures but are not paying the full tax. The survey will help identify such property owners.”

Singhal said the municipality hopes to increase its revenue base from property tax two or three times once the survey data is available. The MCD earned approximately Rs 700 crore from property tax in the last fiscal.

With the number of properties up from last year’s 6 lakh to 9.46 lakh this year,the civic body expects to realise a further Rs 500 crore from property tax. Tuesday was the deadline to pay property tax with a rebate of 15 per cent.

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