CHANDIGARH: Despite imposing house tax last year, the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) apparently draws a blank when it comes to income generation. The matter came to light in the budget proposal of 2014-15 to be placed before the finance and contract committee meeting on February 4.
In the past three years, there was a tremendous dip in the income of MC. In 2013-14, the MC earned only
`50 crore (till December 2013), while the income was `75 crore in 2012-13 and `80 crore in 2011-12.
Blaming the officers for around 40% dip in income from 2011-12, the councillors said they only issue notices, but never recover the amount or follow it up. The MC also failed to gather expected revenue from the auction of parking lots, as in the past two years the contractors allegedly formed a cartel to keep bids for lots low.
The MC was aiming to collect `76 lakh as house tax last year, was able to collect only `23 lakh.
The main sources of income of MC are property tax, paid parking, rent from cable operators, taxi stands, community centres, auction of seized articles, festival charges, rickhshaw license fee, rent from night food street, subways shops, eating joints and liquor vends.
Congress councillor Sat Parkash Aggarwal said, “The officers concerned are good in issuing notices, but never take initiative to recover the amount. It is a matter of great concern, why there is a dip in the income?”
“As far as collection of property tax is concerned, the civic body collected tax from commercial establishments in accordance with a survey conducted in 2004. In the past nine years, many new commercial establishments have come up and no agency has been hired to conduct a fresh survey,” he added.
“There are numerous unregistered taxi stands operational in the city, which come under the jurisdiction of MC, but the officers concerned have failed to check them,” Aggarwal added.
When contacted, MC’s additional commissioner Sunil Bhatia said, “We issue them notices at regular intervals and are hopeful of recovering the balance from violators.”
While blaming the system, MC’s chief accounts officer Deshraj said, “How will income be generated when the MC has been charging the same amount for paid parking from past one decade? We today also collect `2 from two-wheelers and `5 from four-wheelers. It is just because of the vote bank that the councillors do not want to increase the charges.”