Mira- Bhayander: Property tax defaulters on MBMC's radar to slap criminal cases for Issuing dud cheques

A Whopping 1833 Cheques-mostly given by Commercial Entities have Bounced But Housing Societies Bear the Brunt of Water Disconnections Due to Default by Some Members.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 06:53 PM IST
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FPJ

After giving a kids glove treatment, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has finally decided to act tough with property tax defaulters, especially those who issue dud cheques to the tax department.

Apart from an extremely slow pace of recovery, the MBMC is also stung by the cold shoulder response received to the amnesty scheme which has been re-introduced this year to mop-up maximum arrears. In a meeting held to assess the performance of the property tax wing, municipal commissioner- Dilip Dhole directed officials to take stern measures against habitual defaulters and file criminal cases against those who issued cheques, but were dis-honoured because of insufficient funds in the bank accounts.

A whopping 1833 cheques have bounced for a collective amount of more than Rs, 1.35 crore. Dishonour of a cheque is a criminal offence and punishable with- imprisonment and fine under the provisions of the Negotiable Instrument Act. 1881. The property tax collection currently stands at Rs.127 crore, but the challenge is to recover another Rs. 100 crore till 31, March. Only 9, 922 people have availed amnesty by contributing Rs.7.48 crore. Under the amnesty scheme, 75 per cent waiver in the penalty amount is given to the defaulters to encourage them to clear their dues till 15, March.

Most of the major defaulters are said to be builders and owners of commercial establishments including hotels and bars who get away by using their influence and bribing the lower rung tax recovery personnel. Some brazenly hand over cheques, despite insufficient balance to kill time and pre-empt action like disconnection of water supply or attachment of properties for non-payment. However, housing societies are facing the brunt of water disconnections owing to non-payment of property tax by a handful of members.

There are more than 2.69 lakh residential and 60,886 commercial tax payers in the twin-city.

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