Gurugram civic body overhauls its property tax system

To minimise human intervention, expedite redressal of complaints, and reduce discrepancies, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has overhauled its e-property tax system over the past one week, officials privy to the matter said on Thursday.

The MCG has removed most of its citizen services — such as the creation of property IDs, redressal of grievances, and property tax payments — from under the online property tax system on its website Residents can now raise all such issues only via the Haryana government’s no dues certificate (NDC) portal,

During a review meeting on September 9, MCG commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja directed property tax wing officials to overhaul the system by September 20 and also form a separate NDC cell for the creation of property IDs, redressal of complaints and other citizen services.

Accordingly, the MCG formed the cell on Wednesday, comprising five officials from the property tax wing, an official each from its planning branch, and the water supply and sewerage (WSS) branches.The NDC cell is situated on the first floor of MCG’s main office in Sector 34, said officials.

Officials said the overhaul has started in phases from last Monday.

“The rationale behind this move is to minimise human intervention and ensure that the entire process is automated via a central system. In the previous system, residents needed to make regular visits to the tax office in the MCG headquarters to get their issues resolved, which at times could take over a month or more, as the process was largely handled manually. Hence, a decision was taken to overhaul the online system completely,” said a senior MCG official in its tax wing, asking not to be named.

All property tax services, except property tax bills, were removed from the MCG website earlier this week, said officials.

Property tax has become a contentious issue for the MCG of late. Last year, the MCG carried out a survey and found that 503,000 properties were present within its limits. Before the survey, the MCG only had around 370,000 properties on its records.

Based on the updated records, fresh tax bills were generated earlier this year. A large number of residents then complained that they received incorrect property tax bills. In June, during a house meeting, MCG councillors alleged that nearly 70% of the new property tax bills across the city were incorrect.

During the house meeting, Ahuja also acknowledged the problem and attributed the incorrect generation of tax bills to the surveyor carrying out a drone survey instead of a door-to-door survey.

“Due to the incorrect generation of bills, a large number of residents have been regularly visiting the MCG offices in the past six months to get their issues resolved. As most of these resolutions have to be modified and updated manually, the process became tedious and also resulted in more complaints — this time of tax wing officials asking for bribes for swift redressal of complaints.

Following such allegations and the directions from the urban local bodies (ULB) to sync the property tax system with the state government portal, senior MCG officials decided to overhaul the system completely,” said the official quoted above.

“Making the property tax system digital was the need of the hour. There are thousands of residents who have received incorrect property tax bills from the MCG this year and getting them corrected has been a headache for residents as they have to repeatedly visit the MCG office.The civic body could also consider outsourcing the property tax system for better management and efficiency,” said Dhruv Bansal, spokesperson, Gurgaon Citizens Council, an umbrella body of residents’ welfare associations in the city.

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