Indore: In a major development, Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) citing property tax default on Thursday sealed Usha Raje Holkar Stadium even as Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) suspected the action as a pressure building tactic by municipal officials for tickets of IPL matches to be played at this facility in April.
A team led by deputy municipal commissioners Pratap Singh Solanki and Arun Sharma in the afternoon reached at the stadium and locked its administrative block and two main entrances.
Solanki said that the action was taken as the cricket association has not paid property tax of more than Rs 29 lakh. “The association has been paying only service tax and property tax for administrative offices and gallery at the stadium. The playing ground measuring 1.61 lakh square meter is also commercially used for which tax has not been paid,” he said adding that it was the responsibility of the taxpayer to do self-assessment of the property tax and pay the same at IMC.
According to him, a total of Rs 29,09,605 property tax for fiscal 2016-17 was not deposited by the stadium authorities. When the IMC team reached the stadium, they were shown a receipt of Rs 7 lakh paid as property tax. But the visiting team said that tax was only for administrative offices and gallery and it sealed the stadium.
Playground is not exempted from tax
The association officials told the municipal officials that all playgrounds are exempted from tax but their argument was rejected by the latter. Solanki said that only those playgrounds are exempted from tax which are opened for public. “Usha Raje Holkar Stadium’s field is used commercially as people are given entry into the stadium only after buying tickets to watch matches,” he added.
IMC’s move arbitrary and wrong: MPCA
MPCA CEO Rohit Pandit described the IMC’s move of sealing the stadium as arbitrary and uncalled for. “We have already paid property tax of Rs 7 lakh for fiscal 2016-17, a receipt of which was shown to the visiting IMC team. We informed the team that IMC had even given 5 per cent discount to us on property tax but to no avail,” he said. He suspected the IMC’s move as pressure building tactic for tickets of IPL matches.
“To me, it appears that the action by municipal officials was taken for tickets of IPL matches,” he said. He also alleged that they had sought 15 days from the IMC to put its claim of property tax before its board meeting for a decision but to no avail.
Solanki said that they were ready to give time till March 31 as it the closing date for fiscal 2016-17 but the association rejected their offer so sealed the stadium.
Abhay Prashal clears dues, YC granted one-day time
The IMC teams had also gone to Abhay Prashal and Yeshwant Club for sealing their sports facility. But action was suspended as Abhay Prashal administration paid the difference property tax amount on the spot and YC agreed to pay the remaining tax in a day.
Abhay Prashal had paid tax of Rs 3,95,355. On measurement, the IMC team found that lesser property tax was paid by Abhay Prashal and sought Rs 19,57,373 difference amount which was paid on the spot. After that the IMC team reached YC which had paid tax of Rs 3,67,092. On measurement, IMC team discovered that tax for 325712 square metre was not paid. IMC team sought Rs 32,30,259 more from the YC administration which assured of paying the amount by March 31. Therefore, the action against it was deferred.