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Tax decision after panel's feedback
June, 22nd 2011

If the KMC's seven-member MVC comprising experts like Bikash Sinha of the Indian Statistical Institute, D N Banerjee, considered the architect of the KMC Act (1980), municipal commissioner Arnab Roy and K K Chakraborty, a valuer of properties, okays the UAA method, the KMC will notify it and send the proposal back to the MVC for final taxation. "We have gone a step ahead toward implementation of the UAA. We will process the method as soon as the MVC clears it," said MMiC Debabrata Majumder, who is a member of the Anomaly Review Committee constituted to check any loopholes in the process.

The UAA method for valuation of properties was first adopted by the KMC in 2007 after the matter was passed in the assembly in 2006. After the MVC cleared a categorization of the city as taxing zones drafted by the experts in the KMC, the same was referred to Anomaly Review Committee (ARC) comprising of economist Avirup Sarkar, former bureaucrat Debabrata Bandyopadhyay and MMiC Debabrata Majumder.

The ARC asked the KMC in June 2010 to set up camps across the city to hear the tax payers. The KMC then revised the list of areas to be included in the seven categories after objections were raised by citizens.

According to the new list, some of the areas which will fall in category A include Burrabazar, BBD Bagh, J L Nehru Road, Park Street, Alipore, Minto Park, Mullick Bazar, Gokhale Road among others, localities such as Sealdah, Phoolbagan/Kankurgachi, Ultodanga, Harish Mukherjee Road, Gariahat, Rashbehari Avenue, New Alipore, Southern Avenue will fall in B category, parts of Bagbazar, Shyambazar, Girish Park, College Street, Subhas Sarobar and adjacent area, Bowbazar, Bhowanipore, Jodhpur Park, areas adjacent to South City Mall, Calcutta Golf Club will come under category C, areas adjacent to Sinthee, Dum Dum, Belgachia, Beadon Street, Ahiritola, Kumartuli, Bosepukur, areas from Taratala to James Long Sarani in Behala, Bansdroni, will be included in category D. Chitpore, Bagmari, Watgung, Garfa, Ekbakpore, Rajabazar will come under E. A part of Beliaghata, rest of Behala, Metiabruz will come under F and Dhapa, qualified and other fringe areas will be included in category G. According to experts, when implemented, the UAA method will hike the present rate of tax, particularly in areas dominated by middle class. Even in the posh areas which come under A or B category, the tax rate may go up by 20-25%.

Initially, the Trinamool Congress run Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities were in no hurry to introduce the Unit Area Assessment ( UAA) method for determination of property a year ago. on the contrary, the civic top brass has decided to take a 'wait and watch' policy before introduction of the UAA method for valuation of properties.

A section of economists and qualified valuers also felt that since Kolkata is not a planned city, the introduction of the unit area method may backfire if not implemented with necessary modifications.

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