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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: After 21 years, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to revise holding tax collected from land owners based on the updated benchmark value of land cost.

As per existing rules, State government increases the benchmark value of land in every two years. Based on that, BMC is supposed to fix the holding tax but such an exercise was taken up 21 years back.

Since 1998, holding tax and new benchmark value has not been revised in BMC area resulting in huge revenue losses to the exchequer.

However, after the Department of General Administration wrote a letter to BMC directing to impose new benchmark value of land set on February 18 earlier this year, the Municipal Corporation has decided to collect holding tax under the new benchmark from November and with retrospective effect from April.

“The new benchmark valuation was fixed on February 18 this year. General Administration department has directed to accept it. There has been no change in holding tax but due to change in benchmark value, the amount to be paid will differ,” said BMC deputy commissioner, Srimanta Mishra.

Following the decision to increase holding tax, residents of Bhubaneswar have expressed dissatisfaction.

“At a time when the entire country is suffering from economic slowdown, increase in holding tax will affect us severely,” said a local resident.


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