By Ratna Chotrani
Hyderabad: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has extended the early bird scheme offer as it failed to achieve its target collections under property tax due to the prevailing COVID situation. Property tax is the prime source of revenue for GHMC.
The revenue collections are used for developmental works in the city. Following the extension of the scheme by one month it is now hopeful that the corporation will achieve the targeted collection.
In view of the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a serious impact on the collection of property tax which has dented GHMC’s revenue collections under the early bird scheme between April 1 and 30.
According to a GHMC official, against the target collection of Rs. 600 crores 2021-2022 set by the corporation, it could collect only Rs. 363 crores during the early bird offer.
Now with the aim to meet the target revenue collection, the early bird offer has been extended till May 31, 2021.
The state government has decided to extend the early bird scheme for all urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state including GHMC.
According to some officials in the GHMC, the target set by the GHMC could not be reached due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Even prompt taxpayers could not pay due to financial constraints. Some of them despite having money wanted to keep them safe for meeting future health emergencies.
Zone-wise, the highest tax collected was from Khairtabad where Rs. 104.94 crores were collected against the target of Rs. 153 crores. In Kukatpally, Rs. 62.10 crores were collected against the target of Rs. 100 crore. Serilingampally stood third as Rs. 80.40 crore was collected from the zone against the target of Rs. 133 crores. In Charminar zone, Rs. 19.79 crores were collected against the target of Rs. 35 crores.
Secunderabad stood at fifth position in terms of the tax revenue collection. In the zone, Rs. 53.373 crore were collected against the target of Rs. 97 crores. In L.B. Nagar zone, Rs. 42.91 crores were collected against the target of Rs. 82 crores.
In the current year, as many as 2.85 lakh property owners availed of the early bird scheme offer, however, during the same period in the last year, 5.20 lakhs property owners availed the scheme and Rs. 573.73 crores were collected.
The GHMC official has asked deputy commissioners of poor performing zones to ensure that they achieve the target during the month of May by motivating the revenue staff. So far, only 12 DCs have managed to collect more than 60 percent of the target revenue collection.