February 12, 2021 11:21:50 am
More than 18,000 cooperative housing societies in Pune have been served notices by revenue officials asking them to clear their pending dues of non-agricultural taxes. Suhas Patwardhan, chairman of Pune Federation of Cooperative Housing Societies, indicated that they would not be averse to challenging such orders in courts if the government fails to look into the matter.
Non Agricultural tax is recovered from the land by revenue officers for the usage of land other than farming. Issued by district collectors, this tax has to be paid on a yearly basis. Patwardhan pointed out this was a law dating back from the British Era but has lost its relevance in urban areas. “Housing societies have come up to residential zones. The state government has changed the land usage permanently, so the question of paying Non-Agricultural tax does not arise,” he said.
The Federation has been arguing in this regard with successive governments for the last 20 years but, Patwardhan said they have failed to make any headway in this matter. “All revenue ministers have in principle agreed to our demand but that has not translated into law,” he said. The tax is also levied on constructions like malls, hotels and other commercial establishments. This, Patwardhan said, translated into double taxation.
Since the last few months, housing societies in Pune have been slapped with notices by local talathis asking them to pay up taxes. “Along with taxes, they are also asking us to pay the fines and arrears of the last 20 years — the amount can be astronomical, he said. There are 18,000 cooperative housing societies in Pune and 2,000 standalone buildings and bungalow societies.
The Federation has decided to conduct an open house where senior officers, advocates would discuss the matter this Sunday (February 14, 2021). The meeting would be held at the Community hall of Deccan Gymkhana Society behind Sahyadri Hospital Pune and is expected to start at 10.30 am.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines