Thursday, July 17, 2008

Property Tax and Illegal/Legal construction in Bangalore

Yesterday I attended a public meeting called by the sub committee headed by R Ashok Transport Minister in BSYs Cabinet at 10:30AM regarding Property Tax collection in Bangalore City (extended recently). A second agenda was legalizing illegal constructions in the Metropolis. I arrived at 9:30 in the morning by an Auto. I was afraid to use my car as I felt apprehensive about finding a parking place. (I should have used the BTS Bus instead to save on carbon foot print). To my surprise I found a lot of activity at the venue where a big demonstration was being rehearsed. I tried to find my way to get inside the auditorium when I was accosted by an official whom I found later on to be representing a residents association or so. He suggested mildly that perhaps I should be considering joining the protest organized at the gate for the minister’s benefit, to impress upon the minister, the gravity of imposing Capital Value System (CVS)! After joining them for a moment I went inside to find a cozy seat in the auditorium.

The “mega” city chief Mayor (“Ayukta”) Dr. S Subramanya took pains to explain the CVS and the old (Illegal!) Self Assessment System (SAS) of levying the tax. He concluded by saying both the systems would net almost same revenue, but CVS would be easier for the officials in the collection. We are all selfish aren’t we? Officials are human after all or more so as they have to work very hard than the common man who has to only pay as a law abiding citizen.

The next program as I remember was when R Ashok took over the mike and directed the public mike’s movement to the participants to voice their comments. There were lots of disappointed participants not getting the mike. Ashok was the boss most of the time. The most important voices appeared in my paper TOI today. There were avoidable repetitions galore. I believe that is what politics is all about. I stand to be corrected please.
R Ashok reiterated that the elected representatives will take the decision on the matter.
Some fallacies conspicuous by being conveniently (Give and take) un-noticed were:
1. All illegal constructions should be legalized till date. After that they should not be allowed.
2. 40% of property owners in the mega city are paying tax remaining 60% are not.
3. Government wants x amount for development so increase tax.
4. Each party (Tax payer/Collector) talked about their own problem.
5. The Ministers did not question the Officials/Residents about respective lapses.

I joined my Morning Walk gang in a hilarious laugh (We knew it all before hand) to day morning.

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Wife & Me in Hyderabad, India August 18, 2005

Wife &  Me in Hyderabad, India August 18, 2005
The Indian School of Business