Hyderabad: The 8 per cent of the property tax paid is the library cess, but is not passed on to libraries. In 2016-2017, Rs 1,200 crore property tax was collected. Of which, Rs 100 crore was meant for the libraries maintained by the Grandhalaya Samstha. The GHMC has not paid the department; and was pulled up by the High Court.
The 8 per cent library cess does not reflect on the annual property tax bills. The GHMC, after assessing the property, fixes the percentage in the demand notice but not in the tax receipt. The library cess is mentioned in the property assessment copy. Officials at the Grandhalaya Samstha alleged that the corporation has not released the annual maintenance funds to them since November last year.
According to records, for maintenance of 86 libraries, Rs 15 lakh was released since 2016. This has resulted in delay in salaries and lack of facilities at the Hyderabad Grandhalaya Samstha.
Around 13 libraries have been operating from rented buildings and find it difficult to pay the rent. Six libraries have become dysfunctional.
The Chintal Basthi library has been taken over by the police.
On the other hand, the GHMC is planning to set up 500 e-libraries.
Duty of civic bodies to give money to libraries
Geetha Radhika, GHMC chief valuation officer, said, “The GHMC will file the affidavit in the court. Per month, some amount of the property tax is released to the Grandhalaya Samstha.”
According to the AP Public Library Act, it is the duty of municipalities to remit the cess amount to Grandhalaya Sanstha....