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Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC)

Mayor plan to stop tax evasion

CMC teams to survey all properties, says Firhad Hakim

Subhajoy Roy | Published 31.07.22, 02:46 AM
Firhad Hakim.

Firhad Hakim.

File photo

No property in the city will remain outside the property tax net in another few months, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Saturday. 

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has started organising special camps for property mutation. The CMC also will survey plots to identify properties that continue to evade the tax net, officials said. 

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While the camps give people a chance to get their property mutated, the CMC’s officials will visit properties whose owners, they suspect, have willfully remained outside the tax net.  Hakim said he has held a meeting with senior officials of the CMC’s assessment (tax collection) department.

“There will be no unassessed property in Calcutta. Give us some time... give us two to three months. We are organising special camps. We will also visit streets and plots to find out unassessed properties,” said Hakim.  There are about 9 lakh properties — both vacant plots and built structures — that pay property tax to the CMC and there could be a huge number of properties that do not pay any tax.  A senior CMC official said that the CMC had raised Rs 881 crores as property tax in the financial year 2021-22.

“We have aimed to raise Rs 1,000 crore in property tax in the current financial year (2022-23),” he said. 

 An official of the civic body said people have been visiting the camps to complete the mutation of new properties, doing fresh mutation of a property that has remained unassessed for a long time and updating the records on the use of a property from residential to commercial and vice-versa. Some people have also come to the camps because the number of floors in their houses has increased since the last time they updated their property records with the CMC.  But many remain unaware of such camps or knowingly stay away from them.

The CMC’s real challenge will be to locate and include such properties and their owners in the tax net.

  “Suppose our book has records of plot 63 and plot number 66 on a particular road, but plots 64 and 65 are absent in the book. We will visit that place to find out details about plots 64 and 65. Physical inspection will help us find out the exact status,” said the official.  Civic officials said they had no clue about how many properties have remained unassessed in the city because there has never been any citywide survey to count the number of vacant plots and built structures.  The CMC will also begin assessing ponds and assign each pond a number, said Hakim. 

Assessment of ponds will enable us to keep a record of the ponds, including their size and area. “Often it happens that people start dumping waste in a pond to reduce its size,” he said. The records can help spot any reduction in the pond size.

Last updated on 31.07.22, 02:46 AM
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