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Leaders, traders turn tax evaders in Srikakulam

Leaders, traders turn tax evaders in Srikakulam
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Leaders, traders turn tax evaders.Political leaders, traders, doctors and other professionals turned defaulters by evading payment of property tax in Srikakulam municipality.

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Srikakulam: Political leaders, traders, doctors and other professionals turned defaulters by evading payment of property tax in Srikakulam municipality. For the current financial year 2014-15, the revenue staff collected Rs 5,82,98,639 till Saturday as against the target of Rs 7,71,72,000 from the owners of various assets. The remaining amount of Rs 1,88,73,361 should be collected by March 31.

A flexi board at Day & Night Junction in Srikakulam town displaying the names of 30 prominent  tax defaulters

To collect the tax dues, municipal officials resorted to a novel strategy. They displayed flexi boards at the important Day & Night Junction, Seven Roads Junction and Potti Sriramulu Junction in the town, displaying the names of the defaulters.What is interesting is that the name of former Municipal Chairman and senior political leader and noted trader, Andhavarapu Varaha Narasimham, is at the top of the list with dues amounting to Rs 31,59,927 as property tax though he served as Srikakulam Municipal Chairman twice earlier.

Vijetha Hotel joint owners Kamineni Viswathi and Shankar figured in the second place in the list with Rs 30,64,483 as property tax dues. Trader Magatapalli Sankar Rao was in the list at number three with tax dues of Rs 12,36,779. The correspondent of private junior college Shantiniketan did not pay Rs 9,49,138 as tax. Similarly, doctor Kancharana Annaji Rao evaded tax amounting to Rs 3,10,488.

In total, 30 prominent persons evaded tax payment amounting to Rs 1,88,73,361.“We have displayed defaulters’ names by arranging flexi boards so as to bring about a change in their attitude following the directives of Joint Collector Vivek Yadav,” Municipal Commissioner Ch V V Bapi Raju said.The defaulters, who felt that they were publicly put to shame, instead of paying the tax dues, were reportedly mounting pressure on the officials to remove the flexi boards.

The officials’ strategy also drew criticism from the residents of the town. Instead of displaying the names of the defaulters, officials should seize the assets of the defaulters worth the due amount, they said. However, the officials claimed that display of names affected the morale of the defaulters and hoped that they would pay the tax dues immediately.

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