BBMP to double service tax on government office buildings

It is based on the guidelines of the Union government: BBMP Commissioner.

Bengaluru: The cash-strapped BBMP has planned to enhance the service tax from the existing 25 per cent to 50 per cent from the central and state government office buildings.

Replying to concern raised by opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy during the council meet, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said that a proposal has been sent to the government to enhance the service charge to 50 per cent based on the guidelines of union government.

Earlier, Padmanabha Reddy and Taxation and Finance committee chairman M.K. Gunashekar had alleged that the BBMP staff were ignored and this was leading to leakage of revenue to the BBMP’s exchequer. Prasad said that the collection of service tax is better when compared to previous years.

This year BBMP has collected Rs 111 crore and measures are also being taken to increase advertisement revenue. Last year, BBMP made a collection of Rs 6 crore and this financial year it has already collected Rs 20.43 crore. The BBMP has set a target of Rs 100 to Rs 150 crore. The city has 5,500 unauthorised hoardings and slapped notices against 3,721 agencies who had erected them.

As far as property tax is concerned, most property owners have made wrong declaration under Self-Assessment Scheme. City has 18.9 lakh properties and those who have made wrong declaration will be given one month’s time to rectify them and it will help improve tax collection, he added. Earlier, during the discussion, Reddy said as many as 394 buildings have availed exemption from paying service tax.

It includes 32 payer halls, 275 education institutions and seven hospitals. He also demanded to review the collection of service tax. Prasad assured to clear the pending bills of Rs 220 crore to the contractors in the next three months.

NGT on buffer zone
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad clarified that only those buildings which had sanctioned building plans prior to NGT order on lake and drain buffer zone on May 4 will be issued possession certificate.

During the discussion on the confusion on the NGT order, Prasad clarified that the NGT declared a buffer zone of 75 metres for lakes from its edge, 50 metres for primary drain, 35 metres for secondary drains and 25 metres fro tertiary drains where no development activities will be permitted. No fresh building or development plans have been issued after NGT order on May 4. However, possession certificates have been issued for buildings that have been built prior to May 4, he added.

Drains to be remodelled
About 150 km of drains will be taken up for remodeling at a cost of '800 crore. Tenders will be finalized soon. Further, Rs 4,000 crore was required to remodel 540 km of drains, said BBMP chief engineer, SWD, Siddegowda.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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