VIJAYAWADA: Are you a tax defaulter? If yes, pay your tax at once or face the music, literally. Frustrated with poor tax collection, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has decided to visit the structures of property tax defaulters with funereal drum beat, the Hindu style to instill a sense of guilt. The civic body is understood to have been planning to carry on the eerie drum-beating exercise until the defaulters cough up what is due from them.
According to official sources, the corporation has collected `61.43 crore property tax from the defaulters in the last two months. Out of this amount, `10 crore was collected in the last one week by employing this method, apart from disconnecting water supply to defaulters’ homes.
“The tax defaulters are one of the reasons for the financial crisis of corporation. Though it is their duty to pay tax to the corporation for the services they are getting from the VMC, none of them is even bothered to pay them irregularly.
In the recent revenue survey, we found many tax defaulters and issued notices to them, but no one responds. So, we have decided to collect the dues from them by employing tough measures like playing the drum beats in front of the homes of tax defaulters and it is yielding good results,” explained VMC commissioner G Veerapandian.
The civic authorities have already uploaded a list of the defaulters on their official website. The PDF version of the list can also be downloaded from the municipal corporation’s website.
Along with the drummers, a team of corporation officials including deputy commissioner, RIOs, bill collectors and other officials are also actively involved in tax collection in this manner. The corporation officials have stopped supply to more than 100 water connections in the last one week and seized more than 10 properties.
“Most of the private agencies and residential property owners are major defaulters. Having no other choice, the defaulters have started paying the dues on the spot,” the commissioner said.