Friday, Dec 12, 2003
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By Karthik Subramanian
Credit card holders (Visa and Mastercard) and ICICI Bank account holders can pay their property tax through the Internet using a link that has been put recently on the civic agency's web site, www.chennaicorporation.com. Details of the tax dues are available on the web site, according to the Corporation Commissioner, M.P. Vijayakumar.
He said the civic agency received the Reserve Bank of India clearance for an electronic clearance service with nationalised banks. The scheme, when implemented in the next few weeks, would allow account holders to authorise the bank to pay the tax from their account.
"We have sent letters to all the nationalised banks in the city and the response has been good. Soon, residents will be able to pay their property tax dues in a bank in any part of the city," Mr. Vijayakumar said.
Until now, residents paid their property tax to revenue department officials who visited them at their houses. When the tax collectors did not turn up, residents paid their half-yearly dues at their area zonal offices or at the civic headquarters. The Corporation employs over 240 tax collectors across the city.
The city has more than 4.7 lakh property tax assessees. Since March, the Corporation has collected more than Rs. 135 crores, out of the total demand of Rs. 240 crores for the current financial year.
Representatives of the Web Duniya, the Internet company, that is coordinating the online property tax project for the Corporation, said the payments through the internet would be updated within 24 hours.
Alandur and Tambaram municipalities introduced online property tax payment last year. The service, according to Alandur municipal chairman, R.S. Bharati, increased the property tax collection by more than five per cent. "For people who do not want to stand in queues, the online facility is a boon," he said.
Corporation officials pointed out that Internet payment and the electronic clearance scheme would help residents in timely payment of tax. The Chennai Corporation council, earlier this year, passed a resolution seeking Government approval to levy a penalty on late payment of property tax. The Government has not yet approved the resolution.
The Corporation also plans to provide birth and death certificates online. It has already created an electronic database of all birth and death certificates from 1980 to 2000. "The data processing work will be completed by January. After that, we will issue birth and death certificates through the web site," an official said.
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