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KMC's waiver scheme boosts tax collection

KMCs waiver scheme boosts tax collection
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Kolkata: A month after the introduction of the waiver scheme for both interest and penalty, the property tax collection of Kolkata Municipal Corporation has received a boost.

Since October 3, the civic body has mopped up Rs 40 crore. Not just that, as many as 5,000 people have already paid their taxes availing the waiver facilities.

Before the implementation of the waiver scheme from June till September, the civic body was able to collect over 70 per cent of the deficit during the corresponding period last year. In the first month of the waiver scheme, the deficit has been made up to the extent of 80 per cent.

The complete waiver on penalty and interest is effective till February 28 next year. Thanks to the scheme, the defaulter has to pay only the principal amount now.

"The response has been reasonably good considering the fact that there is a tendency among the business organizations to pay during the last month of the waiver scheme. People interested to avail the facilities of waiver will have to apply before December 31 this year. So naturally collection will increase further from December," said a senior official of KMC. The persons, who have received their bill by March in the last financial year, will be entitled to derive benefit of the waiver scheme.

There are 5 lakh odd taxpayers among which 400 are major defaulters, who owe around Rs 1,500 crore to the civic body prior to the introduction of waiver. "The main aim is to mop up this amount from major defaulters," said an official, The civic body is launching a massive awareness drive from the third week of November to encourage people to avail facilities of the waiver scheme and cough up their taxes.

"We are already running an awareness campaign in FM radio and will soon do the same through electronic media. Inspectors from the assessment department will go door-to-door to make people aware of the scheme and address any issues related to valuation so that he or she can pay the pending tax at an earliest," added the official. The KMC will also send bulk sms to persons in its database informing them of the facilities of the waiver scheme. The tax collection had nosedived drastically during the lockdown period, particularly from March to May. The collection at the end of May stood at Rs 30 crore against Rs 300 crore during the corresponding time in 2019. According to sources in KMC's revenue department, this is the third waiver scheme in the KMC.

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