OTS for property tax defaulters extended till financial year-end

Government has issued orders on Wednesday, ‘extending’ the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme for property tax defaulters up to the financial year-end.

The scheme, valid up to March 31, is applicable to all urban local bodies in the State, including GHMC, the orders issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development said.

As per the scheme, if the property tax dues accumulated up to 2019-20 are cleared at one go, the defaulters will be given a waiver of 90% on the accumulated interest amount. They, however, will have to shell out the whole principal amount along with 10% interest.

The OTS scheme was first announced from August 1 last year, in order to make up for the losses suffered due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Though initially offered with a deadline of September 15, due to lack of response, the scheme was later extended up to October 31.

However, the scheme evoked lukewarm enthusiasm from assessees, owing to various reasons, predominant among them being the absence of liquid money with people owing to loss of businesses, and economic hardships. Further, the Revenue staff were held up in work related to Dharani portal, and were not involved in implementation of the scheme, due to which the collections were far short of expectations, officials claim.

As per the GHMC’s latest revised estimates, the property tax arrears up to the year 2019-20 amounted close to ₹1,600 crore, of which about ₹1,245 crore is yet to be collected.

Together with the 10% interest component, the amount stands close to ₹1,370 crore, and together with the current year’s assessment of ₹345 crore, and the interest thereof, GHMC is aiming to garner close to ₹1,800 crore revenue through property tax this year. Khairatabad accounts for maximum amount of property tax dues at ₹545 crore, followed by Secunderabad at close to ₹190 crore, as per records.

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