MMC caught napping on rent revision
If the Margao Municipal Council has come under scanner of the State Audit to effect huge revenue recoveries, the civic body has been caught napping on the revision of rent thus incurring loses to the tune of lakhs of rupees.
In fact, the Audit report for the financial year 2011-12 said the non-renewal of lease agreements with annual increase has resulted in a loss of Rs 19.89 lakh. The report said the Margao civic body has failed to implement the circular issued by the Director of Municipal Administration dated September 9, 2004 fixing 10 per cent annual rate of increase. The report has asked the civic body to initiate immediate action to revise the rent with annual increase to avoid further losses.
That’s not all. The Audit has pointed out that the Margao civic body could recover only 54.94 per cent of revenue out of the total demand including arrears of the previous year.
The Audit castigated the civic body by saying the inaction and lethargy on the part of the Council to collect the rent even at old rates was evident by a list of 18 cases mentioned in the report. The report added “These parties are still enjoying the occupancy of these premises even though they are not paying the monthly rent for a long time. In fact, the report asked the civic body to initiate immediate action to recover the arrears and eviction of the defaulters without further delay.
Incidentally, the Margao Municipal Council has leased on rental basis around 522 shops/premises – 274 in the New Market and 248 in the Gandhi Market, with one shop at old market, three shops at the old bus stand, besides 25 other. Verification of the documents by the Audit, however, revealed violations of the Act. It was observed that most of the agreements have been executed in the year 1983 onwards for a period of 11 months. However, these agreements have been found not renewed since then and the lease holders still enjoying the occupancy of the shops.
The Audit reminded the civic body that the Act envisages terminal of agreement every three years and invitation of fresh tenders to fetch market rates. “Due to non-termination of original agreements and non-invitation of fresh tenders, the Council has suffered huge loss of revenue”, the audit pointed out. [H]