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Netting artful dodgers of professional tax
February, 23rd 2009

How do so many in the city manage to dodge paying professional tax? Since October 2006, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
(AMC) has just managed to get 58,555 names on its rolls out of a city of 56 lakh!

While many argue there is lack of awareness among public, another section believes there is lack of enforcement on AMC's part. For instance, during a recent survey of the western part of the city it was found that there are 55,027 people engaged in non-residential activities and at least 70 per cent of them can be brought into the professional tax net.

In defence, AMC tax officials say they are managing the show with one-fourth of field staff strength required. Besides, making it compulsory for a person to procure a professional tax certificate for registration of shops and establishments has hardly helped.

A new set of measures is being considered. One being that when a person applies for change in tax head, like change in occupation of property or purchase or sale of property, AMC plans to make it compulsory for him to produce a professional tax certificate. The corporation plans to draw at least two lakh people into the net in the coming months.

"We are procuring list of agents from banks and list of employees from corporates. Enforcement will follow," says municipal commissioner IP Gautam.

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