HYDERABAD: The state government has decided to dispense with manual collection of property and water taxes by municipal bill collectors who issue hand-written receipts, and to encourage tax-payers to pay their taxes at Mee-Seva centres or online counters at respective municipal offices.
The commissioner and director of municipal administration (CDMA) has given instructions to all urban local bodies to discourage use of bill books and to procure hand-held Point of Sale (PoS) gadgets which can be used by bill collectors to issue receipts. The payment thus made can be electronically recorded in the municipal office.
The department of municipal administration has taken the decision after coming to know that the tax collected by bill collectors is not being properly accounted for and there is a mismatch between the tax collected and the money deposited by the bill collectors in the municipal offices or bank accounts. It suspects that the collection is often misappropriated.
Urban local bodies (ULBs) are increasingly finding it difficult to track the actual money received by bill collectors and the money deposited in the offices. It has come to their notice that bill collectors, after collecting the tax, do not immediately deposit the money.
To put a check on such possible misappropriation, the Double Entry Accrual Based Accounting System (DEABAS) is being followed by some civic bodies. The money received by a municipality is being reconciled the CDMA with the dates of bank remittances and details of expenditure. It has been decided to introduce DEABAS in other ULBs too.
Municipal commissioners have been directed that the daily collection of property tax and water tax through Mee-Seva centres and E-Suvidha have to be reconciled on a daily basis without fail. The monthly accounts are to be reconciled with treasuries and banks without fail. The monthly receipts and expenditure should also be placed before the council for information.
The municipal administration department has warned that that any misappropriation of municipal funds would be dealt with seriously and disciplinary action including initiation of criminal case proceedings.
It has also warned against committing any irregularities in making offline entries of property tax collection. It was found that some of the offline entries made by data entry operators, bill collectors and revenue inspectors in some ULBs are not tallying with the collections made by bill collectors.
Municipal commissioners have been directed to issue instructions to the data entry operators, bill collectors and revenue inspectors to ensure that offline entries of property tax collection on e-Suvidha should be tallied with bill collectors’ manual collections, failing which it would be construed as misappropriation and tampering with records.