Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to help transgenders, one of the most marginalized sections of the society, to live a life of respect, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has roped in a special squad to collect pending holding tax from defaulters in the smart city.

Earlier, BMC had signed an agreement with  Swikruti Self Help Group (SHG) to rope in transgenders to recover holding tax in the capital city. The project was rolled out with Swikruti members with proper dress code and identity cards starting the process of collection of pending holding tax from defaulters today.

As per reports, the TG Swikruti members have been given a target to recover Rs 11 crore as pending holding tax.

Senior officials informed that a three-month training was provided to the members of TG Swikruti Self Help Group. The members have welcomed such an initiative of the State government and BMC to provide a unique way to earn livelihood in a more dignified manner.

“We have been given training on collection of pending holding tax. This initiative will help transgenders to lead a normal life in society like others,” said Rani, a member of the group.

“There are many defaulters and we will collect pending dues from them. It is a nice initiative to rehabilitate transgenders,” said Megha, a member of Swikruti group.

BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary informed that the Swikruti members are part of a 10-member central recovery squad and they will mainly collect pending holding tax dues from big defaulters. The members will operate under the supervision of ward officers.

It is pertinent to mention here that out of the total 114 urban bodies, BMC is the largest collector of holding tax. In 2019-20 financial year, BMC had collected a revenue of Rs 60 crore from hold tax collections and so far it has collected Rs 16 crore by the end of January this year.

The Swikruti members will get incentives based on the recovery of pending holding tax within next two months.
“We have a target to collect Rs 60 crore and we have already collected nearly Rs 16 crore. The central recovery squad will collect pending dues from big defaulters and already a list has been prepared in this regard,” said Chaudhary.

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