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Pay your tax dues,dig roads later: civic body to telecom companies

It's a year since the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) introduced property tax on telecom companies for their towers erected at various locations across the city.

Written by NitinPatil | Pune |
February 15, 2009 1:23:39 am

It’s a year since the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) introduced property tax on telecom companies for their towers erected at various locations across the city. The civic body has now toughened its stand towards those companies who have not yet paid the outstanding amount.

The PMC has directed its 14 ward offices to insist on payment of tax dues with those companies seeking permission for digging of roads. These ward offices have been directed not to grant permission to dig up roads unless these companies produce a proof of tax payment. The total tax amount that the PMC plans to collect from these companies is Rs 6 crore.

Till last year,these telecom companies — Reliance Communication,Tata Telecom,Bharti Airtel,Vodafone,Idea Cellular,GTL Infrastructure and BSNL — did not have to pay property tax for erecting service towers within the municipal limits.

“There are around 650 telecom towers in the city. We are hoping to collect Rs 6 crore from these companies in the form of property tax. Barring a few,many of them have not yet paid their dues,despite our constant reminders,” said Vilas Kanade,chief of the PMC tax collection department.

“These companies approach our ward offices seeking permission for excavation work,largely for laying cables. We have instructed our ward offices to first ask them for proof of property tax payment. It will serve as a deterrent to them,” Kanade said.

“We had been holding talks with these companies to ensure the payment of property tax from the date of installation of towers,to which some did not agree. Following this,we held further talks and also sought legal opinion. Now they have to pay,” another official said.

Nitin Udas of PMC’s Karve Nagar ward office said: “We have received such a letter from the tax collection department. It directs us to first demand a tax payment proof from the telecom companies or else not allow them any kind of work on road.”

The civic body will charge about 59 per cent of the total property tax,as these companies are exempted from water tax. They will also be exempted from the water benefit tax and sewerage tax.

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