Nagpur civic body's amnesty scheme flops, tax inspectors get notices

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NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) 24-day amnesty scheme received lukewarm response from property tax and water bills defaulters as the civic body managed to recover only 8.05% of total arrears.

Taking serious cognisance, notices have been slapped on property tax inspectors and action is likely on private water operator — Orange City Water Private Limited (OCW).

Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi told TOI that amnesty scheme failed to get satisfactory response. “Arrears from property tax and water bills are high. We gave two chances to defaulters. Now we will begin stringent action like auctioning properties and disconnection of water supply from next week,” he said.

Joshi added that action will be taken against the officials of property tax department and also against OCW for increase in arrears and failure in recovery.

The total arrears from property tax and water bills are Rs560 crore — Rs380 crore from property tax and Rs180 crore from water bills. In amnesty scheme, the NMC received Rs31.47 crore from property tax and Rs13.61 crore from water bills for a total of Rs45.08 crore.

The NMC had offered 90% waiver on interest in property tax and 100% on interest in water bills. Arrears of Rs11.16 crore were waived off from property tax and Rs16.17 crore from water bills for a total loss of Rs27.33 crore. The waived amount is higher than that recovered from water bills.

In property tax, 2.29 lakh of total 5.35 lakh taxpayers are defaulters of which only 31,083 turned up. In water bills, 1.93 lakh of total 3.21 lakh are defaulters of which only 27,153 availed the amnesty scheme.

Additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare issued show cause notices to 8 tax inspectors of Gandhibagh and Satranjipura zones for recovery of arrears less than the target. Notices to more 12 inspectors are likely on Monday.

However, big claims of the NMC office bearers and officials to auction properties of property tax defaulters immediately a day after completion of amnesty scheme turned hollow. Also, action of disconnecting water supply to 1,000 consumers a day has also not started.

NMC official from property tax department told TOI that the process to auction around 250 properties has been kicked-off. “Attachment of properties is done followed by five days hukumnama and then 15 days jahirnama. Process of jahirnama for around 250 properties while hukumnana for over 1,000 properties has commenced,” he said.