| Tarun Gogoi flags off a skid steer loader in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Sept. 19: People living in towns across Assam may soon be able to check their property taxes on mobile phones.
Assam urban development minister Ajanta Neog today said the government has decided to take up an e-governance project under which the property tax collection system in all 89 urban local bodies, including municipalities and town committees, would be streamlined to bring in more transparency.
“We have decided to take up the project in Golaghat on an experimental basis and by 2013, a consumer living in any town will be able to check his property tax by typing a particular code number in their mobile. Once the infrastructure is in place, we will connect the system with a mobile network in order to make it hassle-free,” Neog said at a function to distribute skid steer loaders to 31 urban local bodies here.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi handed over the skid steer loaders to 18 local bodies and rest would be distributed soon. The loaders, each costing Rs 20 lakh, would be used for cleaning work in the towns.
Neog said the e-governance project has been chalked out as part of the government’s initiative for capacity building of municipalities and town committees, as suggested by the Centre.
“Apart from grants from the government, property tax collection is an important source of income for the urban bodies but many of them are not been able to collect their property taxes properly. We have already initiated steps to bring in more reforms and transparency, which will make them self-sufficient in the long run. Work has already begun for bringing in unit area method of property tax collection and audit accounting system,” the minister said.
The principal secretary of the department, Saraswati Prasad, said property tax collection of the urban local bodies in Assam was very poor and many managed to collect only 30 per cent of their taxes.
Under the unit area method, the property tax of a resident living in a particular area will be fixed by a committee and collected accordingly.