Thursday, 3 July 2014

'Privatise property tax collection'

Earlier, civic body had passed resolution on property tax collection but the State had shot it down. The proposal on garbage collection died down in GB meet Lokmat News Network
Aurangabad, July 3

It seems the proposals on outsourcing the collection of property tax and lifting garbage would soon be revived as a majority of members in the standing committee on Thursday stressed on the need to rope in private partners for quality services.
There are 1.87 lakh properties, including some 40,000 commercial, and around 1.10 lakh water connections, including 10,000 commercial, on the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) record. Besides, the AMC daily collects and dumps around 400 tonnes of garbage at the Naregaon depot.
When the issue of pre-monsoon preparations was raised in the meeting, members Trimbyak Tupe, Surendra Kulkarni, Mir Hidayat Ali and Anil Jaiswal underlined that the city is expanding, but the civic body has failed to bring new properties of suburban areas on record.
Moreover, the solid waste management has also been paralysed, although the civic body spends around Rs 50 crore on the garbage collection and transportation. Inspite of this, one spots garbage lying in nooks and corners of main roads and bylanes in the city. The situation worsens during the monsoon. Hence, there is dire need of roping in private partners for better and quality service and earn good revenue. The paucity of funds is preventing AMC from launching development works.
The members also registered their protest against the collection of sewage cess, sewerage tax and now User Charges, introduced in 2013 against door-to-door garbage collection. 
This is sheer injustice on the part of citizens, they said.
As reported earlier, the AMC had passed the proposal of outsourcing property tax and sent to the State Government for its approval in September 2012, but the Government of Maharashtra (GoM) set aside the proposal on March 22, 2013. It remarked that the contractor will harass citizens while collecting tax.
In his clarification, assessor and collector of tax Shivaji Jhanjhan said, "The combined target collection of property tax and water tax during 2014-15 is Rs 100 crore. The AMC had collected Rs 11.85 crore, including Rs 8.25 cr as property tax and Rs 3.60 cr as water tax, from April to June." new-LT
Moreover, the proposal to outsource garbage collection was also passed in a standing committee, but heated discussions triggered in the general body and the proposal was rejected. 
However, some corporators are actively developing favourable conditions for the privatisation of garbage collection.

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