I beleive in this last 50 years or even more after we have got our independence this is the first time that our Government has sincerely thought of nailing the corrupt officials and has brought this ACT. No doubt the corrupt officials and people in power on the other hand are thinking out ways and means as to how to dilute this act so as not to pass the information regarding the wrong things they do or might do. One of this was not to give information regarding what ever has been dealt on corresponding side before an order has been passed. I beleive we all Government officers who are non corrupt, have nothing to fear from this act and should whole heartedly support this act and make it more stronger.
Pune, March 20: THE Pune Municipal Corporationâ€™s mismanagement of collecting taxes by charging excess property tax from citizens and getting away has now been brought to light. For over a decade, the PMC has been collecting excess property tax without making a correct assessment of the properties. So much so, that the Small Causes Court directed the PMC to refund over Rs 1.83 crore including interest to the tune of Rs 4.3 lakh.
The refund pertains to 50-odd cases during the last decade â€” the oldest dating back to the mid-nineties, while the latest having occurred in 2005. The practice of collecting excess tax was brought forth after a Right to Information (RTI) activist Vihar Durve moved a requisition seeking to know year-wise cases filed by people in courts contesting the tax assessments.
â€œI wanted to expose the mischief and malpractice indulged by the Pune Municipal Corporation in assessment of property taxes,â€ he said.
Durve had also sought to know if the PMC had filed any cases against defaulters to recover taxes not paid by either individuals, trusts, shops or companies. â€œInterestingly, the PMC had not filed a single case against any defaulter to recover the taxes,â€ he said.
It was also found that the bureaucratic delays in refunding the excess bills had caused the civic exchequer an additional burden of Rs 4,30,709.85. Durve has sought to know who is responsible for the misuse of public funds and whether the amount will be recovered from them.
He claimed that there was much to read between the lines from the PMCâ€™s replies to his RTI query.
â€œIt will be interesting to know why the PMC tax assessor issues excess bills in the first place when he is armed with a ready reckoner to assess the properties. In most cases, the property owners buckle to pressure and agree to settle the matter. There are only a few who undergo years of legal wrangles to let the courts decide the matter,â€ he said.
Civic body picks taxpayersâ€™ pockets