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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Passbooks for civic tax-payers

The civic body has taken up a scheme to issue passbooks to the 600,000 property tax-payers in the city.

Each assessee will get a passbook, which will bear his or her name and assessee number in addition to the premises number and particulars like whether the property is being used for commercial or residential purposes.

Like in the case of a bank passbook, a property-owner can get his assessment passbook updated from time to time.

“A house-owner can readily check his property tax record in his passbook. If the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) makes an unjust claim, he will have proof at hand to establish that he has paid his dues,” said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

Municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay has asked chief manager (revenue) Aniruddha Mukherjee to ensure that passbooks can be issued from the next financial year.

“The passbook project is a spin-off of the Rs 100-crore e-governance scheme being carried out by the CMC with financial aid from the British government’s department for international development. The system will be transparent and beneficial for the CMC as well as the tax-payers,” said the municipal commissioner.

The civic assessment department now sends two types of demand notices to house-owners for dues — current and supplementary. Many house-owners in the city have received supplementary notices for outstanding payment dating back 10-12 years despite paying their dues in time. Those who did not keep their receipts were left with no option but to pay the bills again.

After the Gariahat treasury defalcation, at least 36,000 house-owners had received false claims from the CMC. The reason was that their property tax payments had not been recorded in the civic accounts.

“If passbooks are introduced, house-owners will not have to take pains to prove that they had cleared their dues. The passbooks will show the payment record of the property-owner,” said chief manager (revenue) Mukherjee.

Passbooks are essential, he stressed, as more and more old buildings are being converted to flats.

Like a registered deed, the civic passbook will serve as ownership proof of landed property, said a civic law officer.

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