Jajpur: A local fund audit of Jajpur Municipality, which was carried out from January 12 to March 3 this year, exposed irregularities in the collection of taxes during fiscal 2016-17.
The audit also revealed that tax funds worth Rs 42,18,249 under holding and other taxes were pending with defaulters. This violated Section 158 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, 1950. No notices were issued to defaulters, the audit report said.
The audit report also said that only Rs 10,01,346 had been collected as holding tax, while the target fixed was Rs 17,18,862. Similarly, only Rs 5,31,670 light taxes were collected while the target was Rs 13,39,951. Moreover, not even a single paisa was collected as latrine tax.
The report said that holding tax worth Rs 7,05,516, light tax amounting to Rs 6,47,386 and latrine tax of Rs 23,581 were not collected. Funds worth Rs 28,39,766 have to be collected as fishery, daily market lease, slaughter house, platform, milk trade, land rent, commercial complex and other taxes.
As per section 175 of the Municipal Act of 1953, the municipality should be divided into circles for the collection of taxes. Each circle would be numbered, and a tax collector appointed as in-charge of one or more circles.
The circles would issue notices and collect taxes from defaulters. However, the Jajpur Municipality has not taken any steps in this regard, and only 58 per cent of holding tax and 39.67 per cent of light tax was collected.
An amount of Rs 2.05 crore was sanctioned by the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee to build a transit house in the town to provide pucca accommodation to slum dwellers under the Rajiv Awas Yojana in 2013.
But the transit house was turned into a market complex, which was proposed for the rehabilitation of 104 slum dwellers. However, the municipality is not collecting any rent from the shop keepers in the market complex.
The executive officer (in-charge) of the municipality, Sharat Rout, said he will reply after checking records as he took charge only recently.