Sunday, May 15, 2016

Computerised property tax has only remained on paper in Mysore


Even more than a year after Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) introducing computerisation and online payment of property tax, Mysuru which is the second biggest city of the state seems to least bothered about it despite popular demand. Though efforts were made in this regard a couple of times, nothing happened. MCC officials say they are awaiting for software to be developed by Municipal Reforms Cell.

There are more than 2 lakh property tax payers in city, and the tax payer have to stand in long queues to pay the taxes. This apart, majority of the property owners who dont know to fill applications, have to get the forms filled by the persons who will be sitting outside the respective zonal offices by paying an amount of Rs 30 /- or so.

Digitisation can generate several useful reports which can help MCC to improve tax collection more efficiently. It will be a big relief for lakhs of citizens. MCC can keep track of all the 2 lakh property forms that are submitted and retrieve quickly for verification, without any room for corruption.

Most citizens feel by computerising the entire property tax collection by MCC it can double the amount of tax collection. According to an estimate, if MCC had computerised property tax system two decades ago, by now it would have been richer by at least Rs 1000 crores to make Mysore a model city in India.

MGP member Bhamy V Shenoy said: “The present hand written system is a disgrace. There will be human errors while computing tax structure in the present calculator and hand writing system. Filling up four forms mentioning the amount of tax and entering two page self assessment forms is not only time consuming but irrelevant in this age and time of computers and internet. One is not sure whether the form has been correctly filled since the required data is not easily available,” he adds.

“With the presence of several software companies including a world giant Infosys, Mysore should have become a digital city by this time. If our city cannot adapt digitisation even for a simple application like property tax, how can we hope to become a digital city to achieve the goal of PM Narendra Modi,” he questioned.

Digital system can enable to compare data using GIS (Geographic Information System) based Urban Property Ownership Records (UPOR). Of course such an efficient system also reduces the opportunities to collect bribes from those owners who do not like to pay their dues, he added.

'There are thousands of professionals in the city who are aware of the importance and usefulness of digitization. The youngsters should put pressure on MCC to digitilaise the property tax system and making Mysore a digital city,' adds Sharath, Businessman.

Mayor Bhyrappa said with most of the prominent posts being vacant, it has not been possible to come out with the software. “The post of DC Revenue and council secretary is vacant from last one year, and five Assistant Commissioner's posts are vacant from last several months. With absence of concerned head in the department, additional in-charge officers are not able to take decisions. Moreover MCC cant take a call on development of software and we have written a letter to Municipal Reforms Cell to provide software at the earliest. Once the software is ready it will be boon for nearly 2 lakh property tax owners,” he added.

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