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Top 100 undisputed defaulters owe Rs. 601 crores property tax to BMC

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
By Steffy Thevar

The top ten include M/s. Bharat Diamond Bourse, owned by Nirav Modi, Jet Airways (India) Ltd., Reliance Industries Ltd and more. The calculated amount dates back to 2010

Just ahead of the budget discussion, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) questioned the civic body's silence over recovery of property tax which is the second highest source of income for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), after the fungible premium. The amount due in property tax crosses about Rs. 9,500 crores out of which Rs. 4,500 is disputed and the rest is undisputed. If the top 100 undisputed property tax dues are to be calculated, then the total amount comes down to Rs. 601,23,52,357 exactly. These top 100 include top industrialists and also airways, and LoP Ravi Raja demanded that properties of such defaulters must be seized.

While the disputed property tax cases are on in the court, the civic body is free to collect the undisputed property taxes. Leading the top ten undisputed property tax defaulters is Hindustan Composites Ltd., which owes more than Rs. 29.98 crores. According to the information from the Assessment and Collection Department, a 21-day notice was issued to the company regarding this. The plot is in the N ward. Following it is Lessee M/s. Bharat Diamond Bourse which Raja said, is owned by Nirav Modi. Raja said, “We all know that Nirav Modi has fled the country, so there is no hope that he would ever return to pay back the BMC its property tax. It is better that we seal his properties and take further action. M/s. Bharat Diamond Bourse owes the BMC Rs. 25,52,67,948 in total from 2010-2018. According to the remarks from the BMC, this tax is recoverable. This property is in H/East ward.”

Following this, the third highest undisputed tax defaulter is M/s Lutharia Lalchandani from the H-west ward, who owes Rs. 21,97,80,080 for a non-residential building in the ward. The BMC has issued a 21-day notice to the said defaulter on 29.12.2017. The forth highest defaulter is Jet Airways (India) Ltd. which owes Rs. 16,82,67,499 which the civic body has termed as recoverable. The Reliance Industries Ltd also owes Rs 11,23,02,143 which the civic body termed as recoverable. All these dues are since 2010-2018.

Ravi Raja said, “This time, the BMC is dipping into its reserves due to the falling income but yet here we have proof that the civic body is unwilling to recover its dues worth thousands of crores. Only the top ten defaulters owe Rs. 601 crores if we dig deeper we will get more such well-to-do defaulters.”

Raja also highlighted the fact that the civic body does not utilise all its funds. “From the last budget of 2016-17, which was for about Rs. 25,000 crores, the civic body used only a little more than 40 per cent of the funds. Despite having money and so many pending projects and poor facilities being provided, why  does the BMC not complete its projects?,” he questioned.

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