Pune: PCMC Collects Rs 700 Crore Tax In 10 Months, Commissioner Thanks Responsible Taxpayers

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, 30th January 2024: The Taxation and Tax collection Department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has continued its commendable performance, surpassing the 700 crore rupees mark within ten months of the ongoing fiscal year. To maximize tax collection in the remaining two months, the department has taken a significant step by deciding to seize properties of defaulters in cases where sealing them is not feasible. Defaulters are urged to cooperate by promptly settling their tax dues to prevent the confiscation of their properties.

Pimpri-Chinchwad city boasts a total of 6 lakh 15 thousand properties, with a noteworthy contribution from 4 lakh 21 thousand property owners who have collectively paid 716 crore 40 lakh rupees for city development. PCMC Commissioner Shekhar Singh has expressed his gratitude to these responsible and vigilant taxpayers for their valuable contributions.

Despite extensive public awareness campaigns, repeated appeals, pre-seizure notices, and SMS notifications to defaulters for tax payments, the Taxation and Tax Collection Department is now implementing stringent measures against property owners who continue to neglect their tax obligations.

A significant number of residential properties in the city are in arrears, and despite five visits and clear instructions to pay taxes, the property owners have not responded, risking the confiscation of their properties. PCMC, considering the humane perspective, has refrained from sealing residential flats in the past. However, moving forward, properties of persistent defaulters will face confiscation without the need for sealing or seizing movable assets. The department is issuing seizure warrants for these properties.

Observations reveal that defaulters residing in these properties, despite having the financial capacity to settle their arrears, are not responding to follow-up efforts. The outstanding taxes on such residential properties exceed 300 crores. While residential flats that were previously closed were sealed due to closure, the number of seized properties has now exceeded 100 this year, and this operation will persist until March 31 i.e end of this fiscal year.

A total of 283 properties in 17 zones have been confiscated by the Taxation and Tax Collection Department due to non-payment of taxes, despite numerous appeals. Among these, deeds have been attached to 98 residential properties. In cases where the outstanding taxes remain unpaid even after this measure, the department has issued a warning, stating its intention to auction the properties belonging to the respective owners.

The auction process for 25 properties is currently in progress. Out of the 283 seized properties, evaluation has been completed for 98, and the public auction for these properties will soon be conducted in the initial phase. Additionally, directives have been issued to expedite the evaluation of the remaining properties.

As a further measure, the PCMC is actively disconnecting tap connections for property owners who fail to fulfill their tax obligations. To date, 25 property owners have had their water supply disconnected due to non-payment of taxes.

The effective utilization of technology has resulted in an impressive tax collection of Rs 14 crores within a week for PCMC. Over 1 lakh properties in the city with outstanding amounts ranging from 5 to 50 thousand rupees for the past five to ten years received pre-seizure notices directly through SMS on their mobile phones from the Taxation and Tax Collection Department. The SMS also provided a convenient link for tax arrears payment, contributing significantly to the accumulation of Rs 13 to 14 crores in the PCMC treasury in just one week.

The tax collection breakdown is as follows:
– Online: Rs 430 Crore 48 Lakh
– Miscellaneous Apps: Rs 8 Crore 93 Lakhs
– Cash: Rs 96 crores 57 lakhs
– By check: Rs 88 crores 18 lakhs
– EDC: Rs 8 crores 37 lakhs
– RTGS: Rs 37 crores 47 lakhs

A fine-tuned strategy for seizure warrants has been implemented, with foreclosure warrants issued for 22,000 properties having arrears exceeding 50,000 rupees. Of these, 8 thousand warrants have already been executed, and the remaining 14,000 warrants are scheduled for full implementation by March 31. Assistant Commissioner of the Taxation and Tax Collection Department, Nilesh Deshmukh, has meticulously planned the execution, setting daily targets for residential and non-residential seizures, tap disconnections, and telecalling efforts. Nearly 4000 defaulters are being contacted daily through telecalling, proving beneficial for the department’s operations.

Commissioner of PCMC Shekhar Singh stated, “The city is currently undergoing a property tax registration drive, with more than four and a half lakh properties undergoing geo-sequencing. We have compiled an internal inventory for nearly 1 lakh properties, gathering essential information. PCMC extends several concessions to societies, women, disabled individuals, and ex-servicemen engaged in environmentally friendly activities. This campaign, named ‘Palika Aypa Dari,’ aims to implement these concessions. Property owners are encouraged to provide their details to the municipal visiting team voluntarily, enabling them to avail benefits from the comfort of their homes without the need for an application or causing inconvenience to the office. I urge all housing societies and property owners to collaborate and contribute to the success of this campaign. Additionally, defaulters are advised to settle their tax arrears promptly to avoid severe actions such as confiscation. Meeting the central government’s directives, a 12% increase in tax revenue is crucial this year for the The Fifteenth Finance Commission.”

Additional Commissioner of PCMC, Pradeep Jambhale Patil, stated, “I conduct regular monthly reviews of the Taxation and Tax Collection Department. In the upcoming weeks, we are initiating the tender process to integrate property tax and water strip collection. This integration will allow citizens to pay both property tax and water bills simultaneously, providing added convenience. Immediate arrangements have been made for MSF personnel, seizure vehicles, and plumbers required by the department. The integration of the building permit department and tax collection department is in its final stages. We are also considering a proposal to appoint a panel of government valuers to expedite the auction process of seized properties, ensuring a more efficient and swift auctioning process.”

Nilesh Deshmukh, Additional Commissioner of Taxation and Tax Collection at PCMC, expressed, “The recovery drive is being intensified under the guidance of the Commissioner and the directives of the Hon’ble Additional Commissioner. Currently, a daily review is conducted by the Taxation and Tax Collection Head Office through Google Meet. The property tax registration campaign is progressing rapidly, aiming to gather information in a manner that allows all property owners to access discounts and facilities from the comfort of their homes in the coming year. Citizens are urged to actively participate in this campaign. Our goal for this year is to surpass the previous year’s collection and set a new record.”

Wakad Zone Tops Taxpayer Count

The highest number of tax payers, 56 thousand property owners, in the Wakad zone contributed Rs 110 crore, leading in tax collections among the 17 municipal tax collection zones. Thergaon, Chikhali, Bhosari, Sangvi Chinchwad, and Moshi zones also witnessed substantial tax payments. In contrast, the Talawade zone had the lowest tax collection, with only 6 thousand 12 property owners contributing Rs 15 crore 90 lakhs.