Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 12:
For the first time in its history, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Odisha capital has collected Rs. 100.13 crore revenue including Rs 35.07 crore Holding Tax, which is also the highest so far.
Out of the total collection of Rs 100.13 crore, the various tax components include: Holding Tax Rs 35.07 crore, Users Charges Rs 9.79 crore, Advertising Tax Rs 15.85 crore, Trade Licence Rs 3.91 crore, Licence Fee on right of way (ROW) Rs 0.90 crore, Parking Fees Rs 2.41 crore, BMC Market rent Rs 1.3 crore and Other tax revenue Rs 1.64 crore. While the total tax revenue is Rs. 70.92 crore, non-tax revenue is Rs. 29.20 crore.
Interestingly, the civic body is planning to make the total revenue collection in the 2017-18 fiscal Rs. 130 crore. By collecting more and more revenue the biggest urban local body of the state and the First Smart City of the country is aiming to invest more in people-centric projects in future if the collection continues to have an upward trend.
Municipal Commissioner Dr. Krishan Kumar said “the corporation will invest more on people and creating more green cover across the city. We will develop more parks so that people will get more space for recreation and stay fit and healthy.” Currently BMC is managing 30 parks and other public places and facilities in the State Capital.
Tax Section sources at BMC said Holding Tax collection during the 2016-’17 fiscal was more than Rs 12 crore than the previous one. This year many defaulters have paid their arrears and it contributed towards more collection.
Secondly, Advertising revenue collection has become more than Rs 5 crore this year than its previous fiscal following a strict monitoring activities and adoption of an on-line self declaration system. The Parking fee collection also saw an increase in Rs 1.5 crore as it was developed on a public-private partnership (PPP) platform. Markets also provided an increased revenue base as leasing out of property at BMC-Bhawani Mall in Sahid Nagar has become successful.
BMC Additional Commissioner Alok Kumar Kar said “the State Government has already designated three zonal deputy commissioners as special certificate officers under the Odisha Public Demand Recovery Act, 1962, and if needed, they may order for seizure of property in case of defaulters. This year we are going to implement the Act for more collection of the taxes.”
Revenue Expert in-charge of Tax Reforms in BMC Bibhu Behura added that while currently nearly 73,000 holdings (houses paying Holding Tax) are there in the city. However, after a proper assessment and inclusion of all new holdings the number may go above 1 lakh. Once all the holdings are included in the city-wide tax base, the civic body would be getting nearly Rs 60 crore alone from the Holding Tax.
It can be mentioned here that already under the e-Municipality reforms the holdings are getting digitally validated, so that in future the collection of Holding Tax and the digital validation could be matched so that the mismatch between the assessment and the real collection could be compared and collections enhanced.