Low LBT collection in Ulhasnagar even in festive season
Corruption is alleged in LBT department causing low collection.
Ulhasnagar: A central market popular for various goods, is receiving cold response to Local Body Tax (LBT). LBT could fetch only Rs 10 crore of tax in the festive season like Ganesh Fest and other. Corruption is alleged in LBT department causing this.
LBT was levied from July 2012 on imported goods entering within the territory of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation. D G Pawar was appointed as a Commissioner of LBT department and Yogesh Godse was appointed as a Deputy Commissioner. Corporation used to gain monthly income of Rs 12 crore from tax collection.
When corporation was expecting same results, Pawar and Godse failed to reach this target. Jyoti Kalani, District President of National Congress complained to Deputy CM Ajit Pawar about the corruption in LBT department as the income has slashed down to 3 to 8 crore per month.
When Deputy CM looked into the matter and started investigating it, Municipal Commissioner Balaji Khatgaonkar handed over the charge of LBT to Prakash Kukareja, Municipal Secretary. In his leadership, LBT of around Rs 11 crore could be collected during last six months. This helped to reinstate financial situation of the Municipality. On 31st August when Kukareja retired from his position, it was given to Yogesh Godse.
Since, traders have imported at large on the grounds of festivals like Ganesh Festival, Navratri etc, around Rs 12 -15 crore of tax was expected to have collected but only Rs 10 crore could be collected.
Why LBT income decreased?
LBT employees who sit on the toll do not register the consignment for bribe. Patrolling units appointed to catch unregistered vehicles, fail to do their jobs. Import with loose receipts is on large scale. They pay nominal tax or evade it. A gang supported by various political parties is working for this.