Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) running into losses to the tune of over Rs 200 crores in a year.  Assigning tax collection work to ward and zonal officials instead of officials of revenue department is responsible for the heavy revenue losses the civic body is incurring every year, say experts.

BMC has delegated power in a flawed manner and even clerks are working in the capacity of zonal officials, they added. An assistant commissioner rank officer should be appointed as Zonal officer, similarly ward officer should be at least a deputy revenue inspector (DRI) rank official. However, junior level employees are being made ward and zone officials and are given the responsibility of tax collection.

The flawed delegation of power to the officials and non-inclusion of staff suggested for tax collection under civic body rules is the reason the tax collection is being done in an improper manner.

The flawed hierarchy in the revenue department leads to less revenue collection, every year. Even, due to lack of training the calculation of tax also remains under questions. Former additional commissioner in the BMC Abdul Raheem said the BMC should not let any junior officer work on the post of zonal officer as it affects the revenue collection. Also, the revenue collection should be done by officials like RI, and not by others who are imparted training for it, he said. He said the local staff should be preferred for revenue collection than any officer from outside. Retired officer from BMC Shankar Keswani said earlier, there used to be assistant commissioner rank officials in all the zones to serve. Now, the zonal officials are personnel below the rank and it adversely affects the system, he said. Officials of revenue department should be assigned the task for collection of tax if the civic body wishes to raise its income, Keswani added.

Posts lying vacant

There are 44 posts of assistant revenue inspector (ARI) rank officials lying vacant with the BMC. The posts of deputy revenue inspector (DRI), Revenue Inspector (RI), and others are also lying vacant for more than ten years. There are 85 wards under 19 zones in the BMC. None of the zones has any assistant commissioner rank officer.

BMC is sanctioned 150 posts of ARI, but there are 106 ARIs working with it. Similarly, there are 44 posts of DRI and all are lying vacant. There are 22 posts of RI and only two RIs are working with it. The other 20 posts are lying vacant. There is no ARO rank officer working with the BMC while 8 posts are suggested. Similarly, all the 4 posts of ROs are also lying vacant.

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