Hyderabad: The GHMC has put under wraps the list of top property tax defaulters, who are mostly businessmen, lawmakers and influential persons.
The senior official, requesting anonymity, said property details had been removed from public domain after Deccan Chronicle published a news report, “Telangana owes property tax worth `678 crore” on July 8. He said an informal inquiry had been conducted into the revenue wing as a result. Subsequently, higher authorities from state government wanted property tax details removed from the public domain.
The senior official said the GHMC had removed access to the online list of defaulters on instructions of higher authorities. The decision will enhance corruption in the revenue wing, he said.
The listing now is such that only the tax payer can know his or her property tax details. This would prevent shaming of top defaulters, who have defaulted in payments of about `230 crore even after availing the one-time settlement (OTS) scheme. Under the scheme, property tax payers could clear their principal tax amount till 2019-20 in one go, in addition to 10 per cent interest against accumulated arrears.
More than 40 per cent of tax payers from six zones evade tax: Out of 14 lakh property tax payers, 5.7 lakh residents avoid payment of tax. Most top defaulters are residents of prime locations, including Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills and other areas in the central zone.
Out of 4,03,902 defaulters in central zone, 2,48,504 cleared their dues in 2020-21. According to an estimate, only 27 per cent of people contribute about `500 crore to the GHMC's revenue. Statistics show 73 per cent people default in collusion with the GHMC’s revenue officials.
Corporation officials claim that if GHMC manages to collect 60 per cent of property tax from defaulters, the civic body can increase its collection to `2,500 crore.
While the corporation has collected Rs 1,703.21 crore in property tax, it is yet to collect Rs 1,958 crore of arrears.
Who pays, who doesn’t
Data with the GHMC shows highest defaults in the south and central zones
East zone 2,42,426 1,57,471 (44.6%)
South zone 2,36,062 1,02,863 (26.66%)
Central zone 4,03,902 2,48,504 (27.54%)
West zone 2,89,627 2,16,954 (65.27%)
North zone 3,14,802 1,89,682 (60.25%)