Indian municipal body to use GIS for tracking property tax defaulters

Indian municipal body to use GIS for tracking property tax defaulters


New Delhi, India, November 30, 2006 – The MCD’s (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) GIS mapping project to track defaulters of property tax has finally taken off after being shelved for over two years.

The civic agency has set up a pilot project in the Central zone through which the department will be creating a fresh database of the properties that need to be covered under the tax net. The agency has tied up with Hyderabad-based company CE-Infosys that specialises in GIS mapping.

According to Property Tax Department officials, the Corporation has been suffering huge losses ever since the implementation of the Unit Area Method that is based on self-assessment and this project is will be helpful in tracking property owners who file less returns than actual or do not come forward to pay their taxes.

“The company has its own database of satellite images of the entire city which include small details of every road and building in the city through which we will be able to list the actual number of properties in the area,” said a senior MCD official.

In Central zone alone, officials say, even though the MCD has over 1.28 lakh properties listed, only 43,000 property owners filed their returns. “Since the system is based on self-assessment, people often pay less tax by showing less covered area to escape as much tax as possible,” said the MCD official.

With the tax evaluation committee set up to look at re-evaluation of tax categories, officials are hoping the project will help them re-categorise and identify areas under the tax net. “We can track new properties that have come up in the last two years which haven’t been recorded by our department and increase our tax net,” said an official.