Audit slams Margao for poor revenue collection


The State audit has slammed the Margao Municipal Council for poor collection of revenue, loss of revenue from taxes, besides rent during the financial year 2011-12.
The Audit also took strong exception to the practice of investing hue amounts in saving and current accounts for long period, thus losing precious revenue. In fact, the Audit has said the lethargic approach in the functioning of the Margao Municipal administration has resulted in huge loss of revenue to the Municipal office, asserting that such lapses are to be viewed seriously. In fact, the report has said that all current accounts maintained by the Council should be closed down immediately, by investing these funds in fixed deposits by keeping a minimum required balance in saving bank account to meet immediate day-to-day requirements of the Civic body.
On the tax front, the audit found that the collection of revenue in respect of various taxes is very low – only 40 per cent compared with the total arrears, interest charged and total demand for the year 2011-12.
The report said that ample power has been vested in the Council under the Municipalities Act. However, no action has been initiated by the body till date, the report noted.
The audit pointed out the loss of revenue due to non-levy of interest on House tax. “The MMC has failed to comply with the provisions of the Municipalities Act and impose interest on House Tax. Other Municipalities are charging interest @ 12 per cent. Thus, the Council has lost a huge revenue due to non levy of interest which is directly attributable to the presence Council and its administration”, the report said.
The Audit further said that the Civic body has lost huge revenue due to non-assessment of house tax. The report lamented that the Margao Municipality has failed to adhere to the provisions of the Goa Municipalities Act on assessment of house tax. Stressing that the main resource of revenue of Margao Municipality is house tax, the report reminded the Civic body that the Act envisages reassessment at regular intervals to detect unauthorized encroachments, extension, alteration made in existing buildings, illegal constructions etc in time. [H]