Saturday, 1 March 2014

AMC on 'Mission Online'

The AMC had introduced local body tax (LBT) in 2010. Today, the LBT cell has registration of 25,140 LBT-payers, who pay their tax in 11 nationalised banks. "Of all the registered LBT-payers 5,500 are big businessmen, while remaining are small and medium ones. The cell has recorded a collection of around Rs. 162 crore LBT till February 28. We are hopeful of meeting the target of Rs. 200 crore in the coming months," said LBT officer Ayub Khan. Meanwhile, it is learnt that the LBT cell has applied for an ISO certification and the AMC has resolved to link up LBT-payers with the online mode of tax clearance.• Installs billboards at 14 important places and traffic signals and crossroads• Plans to develop a link encouraging LBT- payers to pay property tax online.

The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has launched an advertisement blitzkrieg 'Mission Online' to encourage citizens to pay property tax. Billboards have been installed at important places like traffic signals and crossroads, apart from placing ads in newspapers, broadcasting jingles on radio and showing clippings on local television channel. Deputy chief auditor Mahaveer Patni, who has been entrusted with the task, said, "A week ago, we had installed advertising hoardings at 14 important places in Chikalthana, Harsul T-point, Seven Hills, Mondha Naka, Nutan Colony, Kranti Chowk, Railway Station, Mill Corner, Gajanan Maharaj Mandir, Paithan Gate, Central Octroi Checkpost etc. The giant size hoardings at traffic signals will help in attracting attention of commuters and reminding them of their duty to pay tax. In the recent past also, we had displayed advertisements to create awareness about 'Mission Online' on 10 gantries." 

It is learnt that civic chief H S Kamble is the main force behind the 'Mission Online' that aims at encouraging citizens to opt for the online mode to remit their taxes. Presently, the AMC is accepting property tax (and water tax) at the counters in five HDFC branches and six ward offices. "We will be distributing pamphlets in wards recording poor or below average recovery of taxes. We have handed over bundles of 10,000 handbills to be distributed in each ward office. Civic personnel will visit door to door and distribute pamphlets in their jurisdiction," said Patni. It may be noted that the target collection of property tax is Rs 75 crore, while that of water tax is Rs 25 crore. Accordingly, the AMC has recorded a collection of Rs 62 crore from April 1, 2013 to February 28, 2014. It includes Rs 47 crore as property tax and Rs 15 crore as water tax. 

Systems manager (e-governance) A B Patel said, "We have received Rs 25.89 lakh property tax from 574 citizens through online transactions recorded between October 5 and February 28. We had installed a kiosk in HDFC branch in Cidco and very soon we are going to dedicate a multi-tasking machine to citizens." The AMC has 1.87 lakh properties, including 20,000 commercial ones, on its record. However, the recovery of taxes is disappointing. Presently, the assessor and collector of tax is holding camps in all wards, making announcements through public address system.  Standing committee member Vikas Jain said, "GTL Urja posts monthly power bills to consumers, regularly. The area-wise recording meter-reading and distribution of bills is done on a rotation basis. If this outstation agency can do it, why not the decades-old civic body?" He demands that civic officials should also spare staff to post the demand of property tax and check if a property is under the tax ambit or not by visiting each area on a rotation basis.

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