The civic body, in order to enhance annual property tax collection, is accepting payments through cheques, which will be realised only after 15 days. (Representational image/DC)
HYDERABAD: With only two days remaining for the end of the financial year 2021-22, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) still falls short of Rs 500 crore against the target of Rs 1,850 crore annual property tax. The civic body, in order to enhance annual property tax collection, is accepting payments through cheques, which will be realised only after 15 days. Conventionally, according to corporation authorities, 70 per cent of cheques are bounced.
Top defaulters in the city are said to be opting for cheque payments to avoid the departmental action by the GHMC. However, when checked after a month, the corporation finds disparities in the cheques deposited and amount realised.
In order to overcome this, the corporation did not accept cheque payments to the annual property tax collection last year. Despite not adding cheque amounts, the civic body generated about Rs 1,700 crore. Thanks to the one time settlement (OTS) scheme, a waiver of 90 per cent of accumulated interest arrears on property tax was given, upon clearing the entire arrears in one go, which generated about Rs 250 crore. However, during the current financial year, the corporation has only managed to generate Rs 1,365.54 crore against the target of Rs 1,850 crore.
A senior GHMC official said going by the trend, the corporation would not be able to generate more than Rs 50 crore in three days. In 2019-20, the civic body generated Rs 1,472 crore and Rs 1,419 crore in 2018-19. He said over four lakh properties in the city were not assessed which could add another Rs 200 crore to the corporation’s account.
In the meanwhile, the GHMC would announce the early bird rebate scheme. "The GHMC will launch an early bird scheme offering a five per cent rebate to those who pay property tax for 2021-22 starting from April 1. Earlier, this facility was offered to property owners whose annual amount was less than Rs 30,000 and only for residential properties. However, considering the growing demand, the government has extended it to commercial properties in 2021-22," he added.