Bihar has become probably the first state in India where residents can have the services of holding tax collectors at their doorsteps by making a phone call to the number 0612-2210000 on working days between 10 am and 6 pm. The caller can fix date and time and also give details about the mode of payment.
The said facility is available to residents residing in 11 cities -- Patna, Nalanda, Ara, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Munger, Purnia, Katihar and Begusarai -- which have municipal corporations. The only condition of availing this facility is that the amount to be paid as holding tax should be Rs 1,000 or more.
"The move entails simplifying the holding tax payment," urban development department principal secretary Dipak Kumar said and added that callers would have to give at least a day's time to avail the facility.
He said that based on the feedback received, similar facility would be rolled out for urban centres which come under the 44 Nagar Parishads and 85 Nagar Panchayats later on.
Residents of the aforesaid 11 towns would also soon be able to self-assess their holding tax using a formula which would be put on the websites of respective municipal corporations.
While the website of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has already been launched, those of other corporations would be launched latest by December this year.
Residents would also be provided with the facility of depositing the tax at counters of designated banks, list of which would soon be published. "There are also plans afoot to introduce online payment system, but it would take some time to provide this facility," Kumar said.
The department has also roped in the services of 150 private individuals for bringing in those holdings in the tax net which are yet to be registered with their respective urban local bodies (ULBs). One can avail the services of these individuals for taking guidance for registering one's holdings, assessing holding tax and deposit the said tax with them. These individuals would get 10 per cent of the tax collected through them as renumeration.
The department has also issued guidelines to all 140 ULBs for collecting the holding tax dues and it has been decided to give 15 per cent rebate to those willing to clear their dues before December 31. Those not availing the offer would end up coughing fine at the rate of 2 per cent per month.
The step has been taken to clear the holding tax dues. This can be assessed from the very fact that the PMC alone has to collect about Rs 150 crore dues on the holding tax front.