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Households turn business hubs in Bhubaneswar: House owners evade tax with ease!

6/09/2021 at 8:55 PM

Bhubaneswar, Sep 6: Households in the capital city are now turning business hubs evading huge tax for the exchequer in many ways.

The house owners in the villages, residential colonies and the roadside homesteads under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC)  are making their plots more commercial and less residential, with no approval from the  Urban Body Authorities.

The ancient Bhubaneswar has extended its geography from Cuttack from the west towards the Puri border in the east, at present. People from across the state opt for Bhubaneswar as their prime destiny for its livability index and abundance scope of employment & trade. As a result, the smart city is inviting thousands of floating population to live, trade and enterprise here.

The population explosion in and around Bhubaneswar has brought new opportunities for the natives and even the outsiders who have somehow got a place to sit with a small residence in the city. The house owners either live here or let them on rent. At the same time, most of the householders make shops and commercial establishments without the knowledge and approval of the BMC authorities.

BMC has formulated strict guidelines for the construction of houses as per the approval of the town planners. At the same time, using homesteads for commercial purposes, extension of houses without approval from the authorities is also illegal according to the  BMC norms.

Similarly, the holding tax slabs have been scheduled to be 5 percent of the benchmark valuation for the residents,10 percent for the rented buildings and 20 percent for the commercial establishments. Accordingly, the other duties vary as per the norms of the use of a particular building.

However, thousands of house owners are using their carpet areas commercially renting part of their buildings to business organizations without intimating it to BMC or Bhubaneswar Development Authority(BDA). Commercialization of houses is also rampant in the apartments and multi-towered enclaves where illegal market complexes, gyms and utility centres have been built for commercial use.

At the same time, government lands are encroached for living and they are ultimately utilized as shops or business offices, flouting every restriction of the government.

Such house owners are getting lakhs of rupees in return. However, they pay the same holding tax, electric charges and other dues as permissible for a domestic user. Even, most of such shops and commercial agencies that are established alongside the private residences have got no trade license, tax invoice and other legal compliances.

As a result, the proposed pictorial of the smart city becomes blur and hedgy for the irregular constructions scattered all around the city. At the same time, the government loses huge bulk of taxes and duties from the householders.

Responding to the illegal use of homesteads as commercial units, Deputy Zonal Commissioner, BMC Northen Zone Purandara Nanda Said, BMC is all set to undertake a household survey that will assay the problem. Subsequently, legal actions against the defaulters will be initiated, he added.

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