Hyderabad: Exempting four circles in the Old City, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has constituted 26 special teams to collect the targeted Rs 400 crore in property tax. The GHMC commissioner M. Dana Kishore has appointed 26 supervisory officers to collect property tax from top defaulters by March 31.
Surprisingly, the corporation has handed over the job to 22 officers of the engineering wing and not to the revenue wing, as the revenue wing is busy with the elections. Six of these officers are from the town planning wing. According to revenue wing officials, Charminar, Santoshnagar, Chandrayangutta, and Falaknuma circles were exempted, though they contribute to more than Rs 100 crore in property tax. A special drive will be taken up after the end of the current financial year and special focus will be laid on the zone in July and August.
Officials said that there were no top defaulters in the four circles. With a fortnight remaining for the end of the financial year, GHMC sources were apprehensive that property tax collection would take a hit. Officials said that it would be difficult to take up the regular maintenance works incl-uding sanitation if the tax collection was poor.
In 2017-18, the GHMC had collected Rs 1,326.83 crore, and for this year, the corporation has set a target of Rs 1,500 crore.
According to a GHMC official, property tax collection has been paralysed since the dissolution of the Assembly in September last year. Though the staff was busy with the election, the corporation could collect Rs 1,072.98 crore until March 12. With the code of conduct coming into force for the Lok Sabha polls, the revenue wing was deployed for voter enrolment and other poll-related duties.
If the corporation falls short of the target, there is the hope of raising money from the early bird rebate scheme in April, where 5 percent discount is offered to property owners....