A day after the High Court pulled up the BBMP for using ‘naming and shaming’ tactics in its property tax collection drive, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana on Friday took an indirect dig at big companies for not paying taxes.
He was speaking at a session titled ‘Challenges of Governing Bangalore City’ during the Civic Leadership Incubator Programme (B.CLIP) organised by the Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC). He alleged that it was the educated classes who were not paying taxes and also shifted the blame to the Palike when officials went to collect dues.
“Industries that make profits of `5 crore and above have to pay two per cent of it to the local municipal corporation. But many IT-BT companies here pay all their taxes to the State government. If they pay us, we will get at least `250 crore, which can be used for development works,” he said.
Referring to other civic issues, the Mayor noted the need for elected representatives to be in touch with the public. “We sat in the opposition in the BBMP Council for many years. It is easy to give suggestions, but we face actual problems when we are governing,” he said. Sathyanarayana said there were more than 16 lakh properties in Bangalore of which only 9.8 lakh came under the tax net. He said the Palike was unable to identify defaulters as the revenue officers were burdened with many other non-tax related tasks.
B.PAC on Friday commenced its civic leadership training programme for the first batch of 66 candidates. The candidates are from 20 Assembly constituencies and diverse political affiliations.
The B.CLIP course will include a mix of classroom training for three months and field work alongside city officials for five months. The candidates will assist in the creation of a ward manifesto as well as an action plan.