Belagavi: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah once again hit out at the BBMP officials for their laxity in tax collection and said they never met the revenue collection targets.
Replying to a question by Y A Narayanaswamy (BJP) in the Legislative Council on the financial performance of the BBMP, the chief minister said the Palike had set a tax collection target of Rs 2,500 crore. But the instructions have been issued to increase it to Rs 2,900 crore. Till December 8, Rs 1,406 crore has been collected and in the next three months it would have to reach the set target.
The Palike’s revenue collection target was Rs 1,500 crore in 2010-11. But the achievement was only Rs 1,008 crore. In the subsequent year, the target was Rs 1,600 crore and the collection was just Rs 1,210 crore. In 2012-13, it could collect Rs 1,358 crore while the target was Rs 2,000 crore. In 2013-14, the target was Rs 2,500 crore and the collection was only Rs 1,323 crore. So, an average of only 52 per cent of the revenue targets have been reached in the previous years, he pointed out.
“Bengaluru is a metro and not a village. It has scope for resource mobilisation and development. Employees of the civic body never cared for resource mobilisation and did not concentrate on collecting taxes. Officials when transferred out of the Palike, come back to it using money power and political power,” he said.
There are over 16 lakh properties in Bengaluru, but taxes are being collected from only 14 lakh of them. The rest have been left out of the tax net but still they have are being given all the civic amenities. Even the unauthorised properties get facilities from the government, he pointed out.
Siddarmaiah also said that two review meetings have been held with officials of the BBMP to discuss the lacunae in tax collection. But it is not possible for the government to interfere in the daily affairs of the BBMP as it has an elected body.
He said taxes have not been revised for long and that too has affected revenue health of the Palike. Action would be taken against officials if they do not reach revenue collection targets. The BBMP cannot depend fully on government for revenue.
Deputy Chairman Puttanna said, some of the layouts in and around Bengaluru have managed to evade coming under the BBMP tax net. Builders have sold apartments and the rich are not paying taxes.
Narayanswamy expressed doubts over the BBMP meeting the new revenue collection targets while it has not been able to meet the earlier targets. He also suggested the government to develop a software and make tax collection cent per cent and demanded formation of a committee of experts to mobilise resources.
Siddaramaiah said measures are being taken to clear encroachments of lakes in Bengaluru and even the politically influential will not be spared.
Replying to a question by Ramchandragowda (BJP), Siddaramaiah said, there are 120 lakes in the jurisdiction of the Palike and development of 13 lakes has been carried out.
The rest would be developed in a phased manner as BDA has financial constraints.
Replying to another question by Gowda, Siddaramaiah said the BWSSB was ready to handover Hosakerehalli tank to the BDA. But the Board was not ready to instal a sewage treatment plant and hence there was no response to the tenders invited for improving the tank.
The House committee headed by K B Koliwad, MLA, to study the conditions of lakes, would also attend to Hosakerehalli issue, he added.