The standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Thursday gave approval to execute the amnesty scheme Abhay Yojana for property tax defaulters.
The PMC imposes three times the penalty on the arrears. As a result, income tax arrears have increased significantly. Last year's heavy rains and this year's COVID-19 outbreak have led to a proposal by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators to implement an Abhay Yojana for income tax defaulters. The proposal called for an 80 per cent rebate on the amount of two per cent penalty levied per month in arrears. Against this backdrop, a special meeting of the Standing Committee was held on Thursday. The plan was approved by accepting two sub-instructions.
Sub-instructions given by NCP, Congress and Sena corporators were accepted. Opposition corporators opposed granting relief to the arrears. Implementing Abhay Yojana for all arrears would be an injustice to honest property owners. Therefore, those who are in arrears of crores do not want this concession. Instead, the Abhay Yojana should be implemented for those who are in arrears of up to Rs 50 lakh and 15 per cent relief in general tax should be given to those who are in arrears of income tax by September 30, 2020.
The arrears of crores of residential and non-residential properties are Rs 5,739 crore. Out of this, the arrears of residential and non-residential income is Rs 2,117 crore. 5,35,410 are defaulters.
Mobile towers are not included
The arrears of mobile towers are Rs 3,271 crore. While some mobile companies have approached the court against the arrears. Abhay Yojana will not be applicable to the Mobile Towers arrears as arrears claims are justified.
Hemant Rasne, Chairman, Standing Committee, Pune Municipal Corporation spoke to Sakal Times, “Corona has affected employment, industries. There was a demand to reduce the penalty of two per cent per month on the tax arrears. The Abhay Yojana will bring relief to the common man living in PMC limits.” Aba Bagul, senior Congress leader and corporator said, “If the entire tax arrears had been given 80 per cent discount in interest rates, the interests of the rich would have been safeguarded but it is unfair to honest taxpayers. The decision to waive interest on arrears of up to Rs 50 lakh is welcome.”