February 2, 2009 10:42:30 pm
After making a record octroi collection in 2006-07 and beating it in 2007-08,the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is staring at huge dip in collection in the current fiscal.
Figures till December-end indicate that the octroi collection is likely to fall way short of the Rs 782-crore target. The steep decline,seen particularly in the last two-three months,is believed to be due to the economic slowdown that has hit the industrial sector,the main contributor of octroi to the civic body.
By December last fiscal,the PCMC had collected around Rs 267 crore octroi from the industrial sector; till December this fiscal,the corresponding collection is nearly 30 per cent less at just over Rs 189 crore
Assistant municipal commissioner Vijaysinh Deshmukh said the PCMC depended mainly on the industrial sector for octroi. Citing an example,he said,Every year,we get around Rs 350 crore octroi from Tata Motors. This fiscal,the position till December-end indicates we will be short by Rs 50 crore.
One of the main reasons was the dip in sales of Tata Motors. The company alone accounts for the major chunk of octroi,he said.
With the current fiscal about to end,and looking at the present industrial scenario,PCMC officials are not very optimistic about achieving the octroi target. They are also trying to collect dues from several industries. One of the means is inspecting company records to see if any octroi remains to be paid.
We will still fall short,but we are making efforts to reduce the target-collection gap, Deshmukh said.
We have issued notices to 16 big companies,asking them to pay pending octroi. The shortfall could be because of wrong rates being charged or it could be that a product was left out of the octroi purview, he said.
Following an inspection notice,SKF Bearings Ltd,Chinchwad,on Saturday deposited Rs 1.61 crore,Deshmukh said.
Octroi is the main source of revenue for the civic body. Of the Rs 1,110 crore annual civic budget for 2008-2009,the share from octroi has been set at Rs 782 crore.
In the 2007-2008 fiscal,despite Bajaj Auto shutting down production at its Akurdi plant,PCMC made a record collection of Rs 779 crore. In the previous fiscal,2006-2007,it had collected Rs 672 crore which was till then the highest octroi collection by the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal body.
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