VIJAYAWADA: With a view to stabilise the financial resources of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC), the civic authorities are considering implementation of penalty on property tax on the unauthorised buildings in the city under GO 168 (Andhra Pradesh Building Rules, 2012).
Deputy mayor of Vijayawada Gogula Ramana Rao told newsmen here Monday that there were many unauthorised buildings in the city for which building plans were not submitted to the Corporation. “Many constructions in the city are violating the building rules as they do not have the occupancy certificate. A private survey found that building plans have not been submitted for nearly 30,000 structures,” he added.
According to GO No. 168 dated April 7, 2012, occupancy certificate is mandatory for all buildings. In the ‘occupancy certificate’ section, under Clause ‘G’, the GO clearly states that “the local body shall collect every year two times the property tax as penalty from the owner/occupier, if the owner/occupier does not produce occupancy certificate.”
Vijayawada mayor Koneru Sridhar said that the civic body was considering the possibility of implementing the rule. “We are checking with the other officials concerned to levy a penalty of 100 per cent on property tax on unauthorised buildings,” he said. However, he hastened to add that no decision was taken so far in this regard.
The deputy mayor added that their talks with municipal administration minister P Narayana were successful as the latter had agreed to release `56 crore. “We shall use the funds for underground drainage (UGD) in the city and to solve the problems related to water supply. We shall first sort out the important issues like UGD, water and salaries for the employees, and then proceed with other activities,” he said.
There were a lot of tax arrears pending from people and urged them to clear the dues as soon as possible.
“Some shopping complexes approached the court when the corporation was trying to implement the rent enhancement rule. The cases are pending in the court since 2008 so we shall conduct a meeting with the legal cell of the VMC and decide on further action,” he said.
Ramana Rao also said that the authorities were taking steps to increase the financial status of the corporation and said that they would put the parking lots in the city to auction. “Parking lots are a good source of revenue. We shall take steps to put the parking spaces in use,” he said and added that the civic body would focus on curbing unnecessary expenditure.
The deputy mayor said that the municipal minister would look into the Building Regularisation Scheme (BRS) if the Vijayawada municipal council body approved it. “For the BRS to be implemented, municipal minister P Narayana directed the corporation to send the BRS proposal after the council body’s approval,” he added.