180 point of sale machines distributed, personnel trained
The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) plans to reduce cash collection in its offices in about six months. It will launch collection services through point of sale (POS) machines from Monday.
To start with, about 180 POS machines would be distributed to various CMWSSB offices, including in depots, in the city that are engaged in tax collection. The personnel are being trained on the use of the machines. The online services of the water board has gained patronage.
A senior official said this year, nearly 60% of the consumers paid tax and charges through internet banking.
A number of facilities had been added, including various mobile wallets, for online payment. Moreover, consumers now receive customised link as a text message, from where they could make payments without hassle. The water agency has so far collected nearly ₹359 crore as taxes and charges since April this year out of its total demand of nearly ₹1,000 crore. Of this, nearly ₹151.55 crore was collected in September.
Officials said previously, the collection had touched nearly ₹110 crore in March 2019. Last year, the revenue from tax and charges collection was relatively poor due to the severity of pandemic. “We are targetting to collect a minimum of ₹700 crore by the end of next half-yearly. We had earlier collected nearly ₹630 crore in 2018-19. Revision of property tax rates was one of the reasons,” said an official.
Newly added areas
In merged areas, residents would have to pay water tax even if they did not have water/sewerage connection as it was considered a part of property tax. Nearly 7% of the annual value had been fixed as water and sewerage tax, and data on tax demand was periodically exchanged with the Greater Chennai Corporation.
On the tax rationalisation, officials said the tax rates of erstwhile local bodies were being followed in the merged areas that had led to disparity in taxation rates. A decision on uniform rates would have to be taken by the State government.
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