CCP eyes user friendly modes of payment to boost revenue

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 15, 2024, 12:42 AM IST


New online modes of payment which many residents claim are user-friendly and seamless to use, could give a boost to the revenue mop-up of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), this year.

"Online payment has been activated. You can login to the CCP website and make the payment. Alternatively the UPI payment gateway can also be used. We expect it to boost house tax and other revenue receipts," a senior official working in the CCP's finance arm told The Goan.

Typically, just half of the residents owning dwelling homes in the capital city pay their house tax annually which is a major concern for the city's civic body.

Additionally, recovery by the CCP under other revenue channel heads like trade licence fees and signage taxes also fall drastically short every year.     

CCP Mayor Rohit Monserrate has admitted that only 40 to 50 percent of Panaji's house owners pay their taxes regularly while the rest are defaulters.

Monserrate, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of an inspection in the city however played down the nearly Rs 50 crore past shortfall in revenue mop-up by the civic body.

Monserrate said bulk of the arrears are "legacy dues" and cited the case of the scam-ridden Panaji market where outstanding dues in rents from the tenants has touched Rs 25 crore. 

The peculiar case of the market dates back to 2003-04 when the first phase of the new market was completed and merchants were prodded to take possession of shops and space without signing fresh lease agreements when Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation was still in possession and managing it.

Later the market complex was transferred to the CCP which was however in a disadvantage to execute fresh lease agreements with the tenants, many of  who, were already in possession of their shops.

Now, more than two decades later, the CCP continues to bear the cost of general maintenance but realises zero revenue either from rent or other charges but Monserrate claimed the issue is on the brink of getting resolved.

"Market vendors are ready to pay up once the lease agreement process is completed by the CCP," Monserrate said, adding that previous attempts to get them to sign lease agreements flopped because certain technical procedures were not followed.

He said, now the CCP is in the final stage of finalising the lease document which will be sent to the State government for approval following which the CCP will execute them with each of the market vendors.

"This alone will bring in revenue to the tune of Rs 9-10 crore in one go," Monserrate said.

The mayor also said, the CCP's long term goal is to generate revenue by commercially exploiting all its properties to eventually reduce the tax burden on residents.

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