Kadru resident Ashok Kumar Das (extreme right) receives a spot receipt after paying his holding tax to a mobile official from RMC on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Taxing times are no longer troubling times for residents in the state capital.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) is arguably the first civic entity in the country to have introduced a door-to-door tax collection service, offering much relief to senior citizens and those who are pressed for time. In return, a cash-strapped RMC can hear its coffers jingling with hitherto elusive revenue.
The mobile tax service in Ranchi was launched some 10 days ago. The dedicated van is equipped with a WLL phone. Citizens willing to pay their holding tax from home just need to dial the number 2100164 and register their address.
Civic officials collect the money from the doorstep and also issue a receipt on the spot. The best thing is that no additional charges are levied for the service that is convenience exemplified.
“We often heard the gripe that in today’s busy world no one had the time to go to a civic office and queue up to pay taxes. To lessen the burden on citizens, we decided to launch our mobile tax van. It is already a hit,” said Naresh Sinha, RMC’s public relations officer.
Since its smart launch, the tax van has collected Rs 30,000 as holding tax from residents, while 10 to 15 taxpayers avail of the service every day. “A door-to-door tax collection service is unprecedented not just in Jharkhand, but in India too,” Sinha added.
Nearly 200,000 households in Ranchi are required to pay holding tax. Sometimes because of sheer forgetfulness and sometimes because of the hassles involved, taxpayers delay payment. This takes a heavy toll on RMC coffers despite the civic body’s desperate attempts to rustle up revenue through tax camps.
“With the new service, it’s goodbye to our poor past. So far, we are only collecting holding tax from your doorstep. The service will soon be all encompassing. In a fortnight’s time, our van will also collect water tax from households that dial for the service,” Sinha promised.
Ashok Kumar Das, a retired HEC official and resident of AG Colony in Kadru, is all praises for the hassle-free tax collection system. “The service is impressive. Though I am a regular taxpayer, traffic snarls, long queues and the thought of not getting parking space for my car near the RMC office were big deterrents. Today, I just dialled and the tax van was on my doorstep in flat 20 minutes. I paid my holding tax of Rs 1,300 and heaved a sigh of relief,” the elderly man said.
Among its other society-friendly measures, the RMC has rolled out a mini-truck — popularly known as halla gadi — to collect construction material spilling onto roads. The service, launched a fortnight ago, also uses a WLL phone with the number 2100163.
“Anyone troubled by construction material encroaching upon road space can just dial for the halla gadi. The litter will seized and guilty contractor fined. So far, we have collected Rs 70,000 from defaulters,” Sinha said.
Last year, Ranchi’s civic guardians had taken their first baby steps towards good governance. Electronic attendance machines were installed at the RMC office to ensure better work culture.
The tax van and halla gadi are two more feathers in the civic cap.
“Good governance is our motto and we are open to more ideas from citizens to further our cause,” Sinha added.