To boost revenue collection, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided not to extend its health scheme benefits to the urban poor who have not paid service charges or taxes to the civic body. Municipal commissioner Sourabh Rao issued the directive to various civic departments in a recently held revenue committee meeting, and urged officials concerned to initiate steps to increase the civic body’s revenue. “The civic health department should not provide benefits of the health scheme to those who have not paid service charges or taxes,” Rao said.
Under its health scheme, the civic body pays up to Rs 1 lakh to private hospitals for settling the medical bills of beneficiaries.
The PMC, official sources said, has not been able to implement its complete budget in the last few years due to its failure to achieve revenue collection target. To augment revenue collection, the slum development department has been asked to undertake a survey and update data on slums with details on kinds of construction, dues of service charges and number of occupants in each hut, which would help to increase revenue collection.
Rao said, all reinforced cement concrete (or RCC) structures in slums would be charged property tax, as per rules. The slum development department has also been told to provide details of existing systems for recovery of service charges and employees appointed for the purpose along with the bills issued for recovery of charges.
The PMC land estate department also has been asked to strictly and regularly recover the amount on leased civic properties. The department has been told to provide details on vacant civic properties or land that can be developed for constructing structures for leasing out.
The property tax department, meanwhile, has been directed to recover maximum tax in next four months by changing the process of recovery and increasing the efficiency. “All the properties that have applied for assessment of tax and those in the newly merged 11 villages should be assessed within 30 days and property tax should be levied on them,” Rao said in the meeting.
He added that buildings that have been issued completion certificate by the city engineer department but are yet to be charged property tax, should be brought under the tax ambit within 30 days.
A list of all the occupiers of property, who have not paid taxes for the same, should be prepared, Rao said. Separate lists, he said, should be prepared for those who have not paid tax for one to five years and those for five to 10 years, and recovery process should be started.
He also directed various civic departments to cut expenditure by suggesting steps to avoid unnecessary expenditure and tax theft.
“All the civic departments have been asked to ensure that revenue collection is increased by 20 per cent every month, as compared to that in the same month in the last financial year. The revenue target for the current financial year has been increased by Rs 1,000 crore, so extra effort should be made to achieve the new target. There should be proper strategy planned by each department to increase its revenue collection,” Rao said.