Palike lost Rs 4.5K cr because of slack officials: Corporator

 The “inefficiency” of the joint commissioners in six zones of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had caused the civic agency a loss of Rs 4,500 crore in property tax, Yediyur Corporator N R Ramesh alleged at the Palike Council meeting on Tuesday.

Ramesh, who furnished an 800-page book comprising documents to the BBMP Council, said that there were more than 16 lakh residential properties and six lakh commercial and industrial buildings in the City but the tax collection remained poor. Bangalore had more than 1.10 lakh industrial buildings, about 22,000 apartments, more than 8,000 paying guest hostels, 53 tech parks, 107 malls and multiplexes, 2,091 marriage and party halls, 441 star hotels, 2,450 lodges and 2,446 superspeciality hospitals, he added.

“We can generate about Rs 4,450 crore as property tax from these buildings but the officers never bothered to work sincerely in this direction,” Ramesh claimed.

Explaining the reported loss to the Palike’s coffers, the corporator said that there were more than 30 buildings having dues of Rs five crore each, 60 buildings which owe more than Rs three crore each, 125 buildings liable to pay over Rs two crore each and 400 buildings with dues of over Rs one crore each. In addition, there are about 1,300 buildings which have to pay over Rs 50 lakh each.

Property tax

“We can collect about Rs 1,500 crore in property tax from these buildings,” Ramesh claimed. He said the BBMP administration’s failure to appoint KAS officers as joint commissioners had “badly affected” the revenue generation. As per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, only KAS officers should be appointed joint commissioners but the BBMP never pursued the matter with the State government, Ramesh contended.
Nagapura Corporator S Harish said that a resolution to amend the Cadre and Recruitment rules passed by the BBMP’s Establishment and Administrative Reforms Committee had not been sent to the State government. “Because of the Palike’s administrative failure, there are talks of dividing it,” he said.

In his response, BBMP Commissioner, M Lakshminarayana, said he would direct all joint commissioners to review the information provided by Ramesh before the next Council meeting. He stressed that the BBMP could not afford to repatriate the officers to their parent departments in the absence of manpower. As for C and R rules, they were ready and would be sent to the Urban Development Department for consideration, he added.

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