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GVMC plans to get tough on vacant land tax defaulters
June, 03rd 2013

Vacant land tax (VLT) defaults are increasingly becoming a cause of concern for the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), which could mop up only 58.8% of the total tax of Rs 17 crore from its 13,000 authorized vacant site owners in 2012-13 financial year.

GVMC collects 0.2% land or site value declared by an authorized agency such as the department of registrations as VLT. However, it has been unable to collect a large portion of the dues, which have mounted to Rs 35 crore in the last five years.

Successive commissioners, including present civic chief M V Satyanarayana, have failed to collect the dues and VLTs every year, which is supposed to be paid to GVMC by the owners annually.

The Port City has as many as 63,000 vacant land sites in the area spread across 534 sq km falling under 72 wards and 32 peripheral villages, according to Geographical Information System (GIS) data. If the owners of all vacant sites pay tax, GVMC can get VLT of Rs 66 crore every year.

However, Satyanarayana said that as on Saturday, June 1, 2013, the civic body possessed data, such as profile and addresses of the owners of only about 13,000 vacant land sites.

"GVMC's target for the year is Rs 24 crore, including Rs 7 crore dues of the previous year. We have been making all possible efforts to gather information of all vacant sites and reach the target of about Rs 66 crore from 63,000 assessments," the civic chief told TOI.

The corporation has decided to adopt a new strategy to tackle VLT defaulters, according to GVMC's additional deputy commissioner (revenue) R Somannarayana. GVMC will give wide publicity about VLTs and legal problems to its defaulters and also appeal to them to clear VLT dues before July 31 this year, the officials said.

After July 31, an outsourcing agency will collect all information, including documents, of the defaulters and submit it to GVMC for levying and collection of VLT. Besides, GVMC revenue staff will collect information from the sub-registrar office for valuing the tax as well as for the latest mutation and for sending notices to the parties or owners of VLTs.

"The service charges for collection of information and documents to private agency shall be borne by the vacant land or owners only," Somannarayana said. Besides, physical verification from the layout owners associations and neighbours will also be done along with the data collection, the official said.

GVMC collects 0.2% land or site value declared by an authorized agency such as the department of registrations as VLT. However, it has been unable to collect a large portion of the dues, which have mounted to Rs 35 crore in the last five years.

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