Waking up from a sluggish approach to solve property tax payer’s grievances relating to switch-over to Unit Area Assessment, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation top brass on May 15 asked all assessment department officials to attend all citizens—whoever comes to a KMC UAA help desk set up for the tax payers—forgetting about the jurisdiction.
The KMC authorities on May 15 took the initiative not to refuse anyone who would visit the help desks. The initiative came after TOI carried a report on how citizens were being harassed at the KMC UAA help desks when they turn up to inquire about the modalities of the new UAA scheme.
Shahzad Shibli, the KMC joint municipal commissioner, on May 15 convened a meeting where he gave a piece of his mind. Shibli made it clear that he was unhappy with the manner the KMC personnel at the help desks were working.
“Be patient. Try to attend every single tax payer who will turn up expecting help from your end. Explain them the nuances of the new UAA system so that no error occurs while they fill in the form themselves,” Shibli told the KMC assessment department officials. A section of civic officials were alerted for not being able to explain certain aspects of the UAA scheme.
“Get trained, understand the subject and give right suggestions to the property tax payers who want to switch over to UAA,” the joint municipal commissioner told the KMC assessment department officials. Sources in the KMC assessment department said that the KMC top brass were worried over the slow progress of the UAA switchover. “Whatever has been done so far is not enough to accommodate every tax payer in the UAA scheme. We need to keep up a certain pace so that we can wrap up the process on time,” a senior civic official said.
Sources in the KMC said that the civic body had been facing teething problems so far as the introduction of UAA was concerned because the manpower in the assessment department were not trained properly for the new taxation regime. “Besides some of our officials in the KMC revenue department we are trying to rope in professionals from outside to help the tax payers meet the deadline,” a KMC assessment department official said.