February 1, 2021 9:21:00 pm
Even as nearly 50,000 unassessed properties have been detected by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in the last two-and-a-half months, the civic body is staring at a revenue shortfall of Rs 64 crore in property tax in the 2020-21 financial year, compared to last fiscal. There has been a dip in civic revenue collections due to Covid-19 restrictions, said PCMC officials.
“Compared to last fiscal, when we collected Rs 414 crore in property tax by January 31, this fiscal we have been able to collect Rs 349 crore. The shortfall is due to the Covid restrictions in place,” PCMC Assistant Municipal Commissioner Smita Zagade told The Indian Express.
However, tax collection has picked up in the last two months, she said. “In fact, January tax collection this year has hit a new high as compared to the collection in the last four years. In January, we collected Rs 48 crore in taxes compared to the Rs 15 crore, Rs 20 crore and Rs 38 crore collected in preceeding three years,” she said.
Zagade said the revenue collected from property tax is also going to go up as the civic body has been able to detect nearly 50,000 unassessed properties.
Zagade said the properties found include new ones as well as those where structural changes were made and change in usage was effected. “So far, we have detected over 30,000 such properties. More are being located. The figure is expected to touch around 50,000,” she said.
Zagade said the civic agency has given the task of identifying the new properties to a private agency. “The private agency has intimated about location of 30,000 new unassessed properties and is in the process of submitting a report regarding 20,000 unassessed properties as well,” she said, adding that the private agency has been given a month’s extension to trace such properties.
Officials of the civic property tax department said the PCMC has nearly 5.3 lakh properties which are assessed for tax. The industrial city has seen rapid growth in the number of private properties, from only 80,000 such properties in 1997 to 5.3 lakh properties in August last year.
The tax department of the PCMC was in the limelight last week after it served a notice for confiscation of property to Padma awardee Girish Prabhune. After uproar in political quarters, the tax department had stayed its action pending final decision by the municipal commissioner.
Prabhune, who runs a school and a Gurukulam, owes Rs 3 crore to the PCMC. He has contended that he runs them for free for children from nomadic tribal communities, especially those belonging to the Pardhi community.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has promised to look into the issue.
Meanwhile, the PCMC will pay Rs 10.8 crore to the irrigation department for reserving water quota in Pavana dam for the year 2021-22. Officials said Pimpri-Chinchwad gets 480 MLD water every day from Pavana dam.
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