Updated: March 24, 2021 11:35:49 pm
AFTER A demand from all the corporators, Standing Committee chairperson Yashwant Jadhav has directed the BMC administration to stop imposing 2 percent fine on delay in the payment of property tax. Civic administration, however, has said it will have to take a legal opinion and make changes in the law to stop penalising property owners.
On Wednesday, during the Standing Committee meeting, Jadhav said the civic body should stop imposing a fine of 2 per cent until a discussion on the subject takes place at a group leaders’ meeting, where Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal will also be present.
Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh said, “The BMC is still imposing 2 per cent fine on property owners if there is a delay in payment. In the last meeting, we requested to consider not levying fine as people are facing financial hardships due to Covid-19.”
Falling short in revenue collection from its second biggest source, the BMC has started imposing 2 per cent fine on property owners for delay in payment. The civic body has started sealing commercial and industrial properties of defaulters.
Shaikh got support from other corporators as well. Corporator Prabhakar Shinde of the BJP said, “The BMC has given relief and rebate to developers and other businesses but not for the general public. This is inhuman as people have has suffered a lot during Covid-19.”
Echoing the same sentiment, Opposition Leader Ravi Raja said, “The BMC is helping rich people, but it does not think about the poor. It should stop taking action on humanitarian grounds.”
Following this, Jadhav said, “The civic administration should stop taking action immediately. We will discuss this issue in the group leaders’ meeting.”
After this, the civic administration said it will take a legal opinion on this issue as the Municipal Corporation Act has such a provision. “We will have to take legal advice to not impose the fine. Whatever action is being taken against defaulters or those delaying payment is in accordance with the law. We will have to take legal opinion and then changes will be made in the Act. The number of property tax defaulters has reached up to 70 per cent from 30 per cent,” said P Velrasu before the committee.
The BMC has also taken action against big defaulters at eight locations on Wednesday. The civic body has sealed the site office of a construction firm for pending property tax dues. Apart from this, it has also disconnected water supply of properties at Versova, Andheri, Matunga and Govandi. So far, the BMC has collected Rs 4,100 crore against a target of Rs 5,200 crore for 2020-21.
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