BMC seizes 2 helicopters for property tax dues

BMC seizes 2 helicopters for property tax dues

In a first, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has seized two helicopters of MESCO Airline for non-payment of Property Tax (PT) dues. The dues, in this case, were to the tunes of INR 16 million for the current year (2019-2020).

To carry out this operation, BMC swooped at the Juhu Airport and sealed the two helicopters at the site. This move as per them will prevent the company from moving or flying them. This is the first time when the civic body has taken such an action on a movable asset.

However, this move is in line with BMC Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi's announcement in the last civic budget that it will look at taking any steps that it seems fit on recovering outstanding Property tax dues. In this meeting, he had mentioned that the BMC will issue notices, disconnect water supply, attach and auction of commercial and industrial establishments, lands, etc for defaulters of Property and Water Tax.

As a case study, Pardeshi also shared that last year BMC had attached 1,237 properties of defaulters and that enabled the civic body to record an 84 per cent rise in the recovery of dues compared to the previous fiscal. Citing another example, he said that the water supply of a prominent commercial complex, Wadhwa Trade Centre, Kalina was disconnected for alleged property tax default of INR 13.30 crore. The commercial complex owners had been defaulting since 2013 and through this effort, they have managed to recover around 15 per cent of the dues.

The Wadhwa Group has challenged the BMC's contention. The claim that the total outstanding is only INR 6 crore of which half has already been paid by the building society. They added that the balance payment will be done soon. .

Pardeshi had said that compared with the 2019-2020 budget estimates of Property tax collection of INR 5016 crore, the BMC had managed to get only INR 1,810 crore till January. However, with the adoption of recent measures, this number has crossed around Rs 3,000 crore till now. The civic body is mulling to achieve the target that it has set for itself before March 31. Not just this, BMC has plans to collect property tax to the tunes of INR 6,768 crore in the coming year. There are also plans to introduce several novel methods to generate more revenues, including levying fees on garbage-sewerage collection. 

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