The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) brass has extended the deadline for the 100% interest waiver scheme till March 31, hoping to mop up Rs 200 crore more in another one month. After this deadline expires, KMC is likely to introduce a 60% waiver on interest accrued on property tax dues.
According to a KMC assessment department official, of around 1,00,000 property tax defaulters who had applied for the 100% interest waiver scheme, 80% of them have already paid their dues, helping the civic body mop up Rs 450 crore. The 100% waiver scheme was introduced on October 1 last year. The deadline for the scheme — that was initially on December 31, 2020 — has been extended thrice.
However, witnessing a rush to avail of the 100% waiver scheme and enabling defaulters to take advantage of the scheme, the civic brass has decided to extend the deadline to March 31.
“We have to give a chance to 20,000 applicants to clear their dues by March 31. If other defaulters are willing to take advantage of the waiver scheme and apply afresh, they need to apply and pay their dues within March 31,” a KMC assessment department official.
A KMC revenue department official expressed satisfaction over collection of revenue from the scheme. “Of around 3,00,000 defaulters, around 1,00,000 applicants had applied for the 100% waiver. Of them 80,000 defaulters have paid up, which has helped us mop up Rs 450 crore. We hope to collect Rs 200 crore more from the rest of the applicants and from fresh applications by March 31,” the civic official said.
Of the 80,000 applicants who have cleared their dues, a majority of them belong to middle-class families who could not pay their property tax on time because of several financial constraints,” a KMC official said. However, the civic official maintained that a section of major defaulters also paid their dues, thereby helping the civic body mop up huge revenue. “We received applications from a section of major defaulters who have paid their dues amounting to over Rs 100 crore. A few of these defaulters have paid Rs 5 crore or more individually,” said a senior KMC revenue department official.
However, the civic brass has decided to conduct raids on addresses of a few big defaulters who are yet to apply for the scheme. “We are keeping a vigil on a section of habitual defaulters in large areas of the central business district. We have prepared a list of defaulters in the city’s prime commercial areas spreading across 10 south Kolkata wards. We will conduct raids on these properties once the deadline expires,” a KMC revenue department senior official said.