belagavi news


Local bodies pocket money

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Source The New Indian Express

Any guesses on what happened to the education and health cess that citizens have been dutifully paying for the last five years? The funds, or rather the authorities, have performed the vanishing trick – and quite tactlessly at that.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped the Bangalore Development Authority, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and six other city corporations for illegally collecting education cess from property tax payers, although the education cess has been dispensed in 2003-04. But that’s not all.

The local authorities across the State have been levying an education cess of 10 per cent and health cess of 15 per cent on property taxpayers.

The local bodies, after deducting 10 per cent of the cess towards collection charges, were supposed to remit the balance amount into the Government account.

Test checks by the CAG showed at least eight city/town municipal councils and six city corporations, including Belgaum, Bellary, Mangalore and Mysore, among others, had failed to transfer the cess to the Government.

When I checked my house tax receipt the Education cess was not levied. What about yours? Do a check and come back here.

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