NRIs go online to clear property tax
Warnings issued by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation that it will attach properties for non-payment of taxes has had a prompt response. Thousands of NRIs visited the website of the civic body,www.ghmc.gov.in, to pay their taxes online. As many as 2,779 hits from the US alone were recorded on the GHMC website between March 16 and 31.
Visitors to the site were also from the Gulf, with as many as 722 hits from Saudi Arabia in the last fortnight, 390 from the UK, 287 from the UAE, 177 from Singapore, 120 from Australia, 95 from Canada, 87 from Qatar and 73 from Hong Kong. Payments were made by mobile phones too.
GHMC’s online tax payment facility has been provided only recently, and with arrangements made with ICICI Bank (and soon IDBI Bank), payment process has become simpler for NRIs in any part of the world. “It is because of warnings and perseverance that property tax collections for 2011-12 (up to March 31) have crossed Rs 635-crore mark. It will take a couple of days to know the total tax amount paid online by NRIs,” says GHMC additional commissioner (finance/revenue) K. Shiva Parvathi.
Officials from the I-T wing of the GHMC said that a majority of NRI visitors opened the property tax page on the website, followed by the status of vacant land tax and building permissions, building penalisation scheme, layout regulation scheme, vacant land tax and trade licence dues. The status of applications, submitted by building owners wanting an Occupancy Certificate (OC), is being put on the GHMC website.
The number of ‘global hits’ is likely to increase in future as records of births and deaths in the city over the last 15 years are being posted on the website. Though the civic body has records of births and deaths from 1957 onwards, its first aim is to digitise all information up to 1995.