Bangalore: Officials on poll duty, tax collection dips

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 The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) tax collection has taken a hit with most revenue officials posted on election duty.

According to BBMP’s Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) I. Ramakanth, the civic authority had garnered only Rs. 305 crore so far.

The BBMP started collecting tax for the 2013-14 fiscal from April 1. With a five per cent rebate on till April 30, many citizens are keen on paying their property tax but compared to last year, the tax collection has dipped. Last year, the BBMP had created a record of sorts by collecting Rs. 410 crore during the same period. This clearly shows that the elections have affected the BBMP’s revenue generation.

With most revenue officials posted on election duty, people have been complaining of being unable to pay their taxes at the BBMP’s help centres across the city.

While Mr. Ramakanth claimed that BBMP’s essential services have not been affected, a revenue official, on the condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that some help centres were closed on Saturday as many officials on election duty were at a training session. “Tax collection is routine work, election work is our national duty. This takes precedence over routine work,” he said.

Mr. Ramakanth said that citizens need not go to the BBMP’s help centres to pay tax. “Property tax can be paid at BangaloreOne centres and online,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said that the BBMP had written to the government seeking permission to extend the five per cent rebate till the end of May.

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