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Ahead of new P-tax regime,BMC says 800 hands short

A shortage of manpower will be the BMC’s biggest obstacle as it gears up to migrate to the capital value-based property tax evaluation system.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai | April 15, 2010 4:41:56 am

A shortage of manpower will be the BMC’s biggest obstacle as it gears up to migrate to the capital value-based property tax evaluation system. Its assessment and collection department (including octroi) has 799 vacant posts,according to figures till April 13.

These posts have been vacant for more than two years,an official said. “If the existing staff start working towards adopting the new tax system,who will do the current work?” an official asked.

“We need to add substantially to our current employee strength,” said N A Pathan,chief assessor & collector.

More than 430 of the vacancies are in middle-level and senior positions alone. Of these,158 are ward tax inspectors’ posts and 113 octroi inspectors’ posts.

“We have received just 450 applications for the post of inspector; the response was poor,” Pathan said. “We are thinking of extending the time to invite applications.” He added that officials are contemplating adding more young blood in the department,and looking for “enthusiastic,dynamic” people trained in computer skills.

These posts are usually filled by recruiting staff from other departments. Some officials suggested that at least 50 per cent of the posts be filled through direct recruitment from outside,but neither the employees’ union nor the civic administration was keen,sources said.

The standing committee had asked the administration to implement the new tax system from April 1. However,the administration says it cannot do so until next year,and cited many reasons,both technical and legal.

Currently property tax is assessed as a percentage of the property’s rateable value,or its rent earning capacity. The new system will be based on the capital value of the property. The value will be based on the stamp duty ready reckoner,which the government brings out every year.

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