The Telegraph
Monday , February 25 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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CMC in rent collection fix

Cuttack, Feb. 24: The local civic body is in a quandary over collection of rent for the shops it has rented out across the city.

Non-payment of rent by a large number of tenants has been taking a huge toll on the Cuttack Municipal Corporation’s (CMC) earnings. Rent arrears against shop rooms have mounted to Rs 1.2 crore from Rs 88.76 lakh in 2010-11.

The corporation was failing to collect the arrears as the original allottees had transferred the shops on mutual agreement to other persons several years ago in a number of cases. In fact, occupancy of the shop rooms had reportedly changed several hands in some cases.

“The situation warrants regularisation of tenancy position of the shop rooms vis-à-vis recovering of arrears,” said Akhaya Beura, who heads the standing committee for taxation, finance and accounts.

“Besides, the regularisation process is necessary for rent revision, which is very essential as in many cases the monthly rent still continues to be as low as Rs 60 to Rs 100,” Beura said, expressing hope that streamlining of collection of rents from shop rooms could fetch at least Rs 1.2 crore in the 2013-14 fiscal.

The civic body had rented out around 890 shops in 28 places across the city. In 2012-13, the CMC expected Rs 1.5 crore earnings by way of rental income from shop rooms.

But the rent collection is expected to be not more than Rs 15 lakh by end of the current fiscal as it was just Rs 11.67 lakh by December 2012.

In 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscals rent collection was restricted to just Rs 20.44 lakh and Rs 20.09 lakh respectively.

“In many cases, arrears are mounting as the present occupants refused to pay rent till allotment of shops are transferred to their name,” said a source at the corporation.