Civic body recovers Rs 20L tax dues

Calcutta: The Calcutta Municipal Corporation on Thursday recovered over Rs 20 lakh property tax arrears from a company with the help of a rarely used civic rule that allows it to seize movable properties of defaulters.

A corporation official said a warrant was obtained against the company, which hadn't cleared its tax dues since 2006. Civic officials raided the office in a building near the Exide crossing and started seizing movable objects when the owner of the company arrived and cleared nearly one-third of the pending Rs 64.83 lakh. The owner has promised to pay the remaining amount, said an official of the civic body's assessment department.

"We raided the office of Ambika Trading Company on AJC Bose Road around 1pm. Despite several notices, the company hadn't cleared its dues. We got a warrant from the municipal commissioner to seize movable property," the official said.

A company official told Metro over phone it has appealed to the corporation to reconsider the amount demanded.

Section 220 of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 empowers civic officials who have been issued such a warrant to seize the defaulter's movable property. The act says the person "charged with the execution of a warrant... shall make an inventory of the property which he seizes... and shall... give a written notice to the person in possession thereof at the time of seizure that the said property will be sold as therein mentioned".

A corporation source said around Rs 2,000 crore tax is due from commercial establishments in the city. "We will use the warrant in a few more cases. There is a property owner in north Calcutta whose outstanding tax has crossed Rs 1 crore," said the official.

When an assessee defaults, the civic body sends a letter of intimation, followed by a notice of demand. The warrant is issued only when the owner doesn't pay or show up.


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