Updated: July 12, 2021 1:11:35 pm
THE PIMPRI-CHINCHWAD Municipal Corporation has sent Tata Motors Ltd (TML) a notice stating that the automobile giant owes the civic body Rs 259 crore in property tax dues on unregistered properties. The PCMC has alleged that their officials were denied entry inside the plant on Telco Road in Pimpri-Chinchwad for the purpose of inspection of unregistered properties for tax assessment.
“We have served two notices to Tata Motors. One is for Rs 194 crore and another is for Rs 65 crore. The notices were served on June 25. We have given them 21 days’ time to register objections in this regard. After that, we will initiate further action,” PCMC deputy commissioner Smita Zagade told The Indian Express.
Zagade claimed that Tata Motors had constructed some structures inside its plant on Telco Road in Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial area. “These structures were constructed somewhere between 2008 and 2019. Tata Motors has failed to register these structures with the PCMC. As a result, we were not able to assess them for property tax all this while,” she said.
Officials of the PCMC said not only were they unable to assess the tax on these properties, they were also unable to find out exactly how many properties had been constructed or how many of these structures extended. “This is because Tata Motors officials were not allowing us to enter the plant premises. Our officials went several times to the plant, but they were stopped at the gates and were not disallowed entry by security officials,” Zagade claimed.
Zagade said there was a “big communication gap” at Tata Motors. “We were repeatedly told that senior officials will look into it, their headquarters will look into it… We got such vague replies. It is difficult to establish contact with appropriate authority of Tata Motors,” she said.
Zagade further said as a result they had taken the help of satellite images to find out the exact number of structures set up inside. “They have set up structures on at least eight hectares of land. The structures include parking sheds, canteen, offices… We have assessed them for tax and sent them a notice,” she added.
After the PCMC showed Tata Motors officials the satellite images, Zagade said they submitted a sanctioned plan and map. “On the basis of these documents, we have assessed tax dues and served them the notices,” she added.
A Tata Motors spokesperson said, “Tata Motors is a law-abiding corporate citizen and conducts its operations in compliance with applicable policies and regulations. Tata Motors has been paying the due property tax to the PCMC since its inception, in respect of its properties at Bhosari. In FY (financial year) 2021-22 also, Tata Motors has paid the property tax for the first half of the year as per the bills issued by the PCMC. As is the normal practice, property tax is being assessed by the PCMC for some of the buildings in Bhosari.”
Not just Tata Motors, PCMC officials have claimed even other industrial units were blocking entry inside their plants for the assessment of unregistered properties. “We are going to serve notices to other big industrial units as well,” Zagade added.