That many government and private institutions, as well as some individuals have not been paying holding tax to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in the last two decades is a matter to be worried about. According to a news report of this daily, the amount is nearly Tk. 384 million. If collected, the money could have been spent to solve some long-standing problems city dwellers are facing for years. DSCC has reportedly issued letters to the defaulters several times for paying dues, but they paid no heed to that.
It is actually not the case of DSCC only; the scenario of other city corporations, Municipalities, Unions would not differ much. Allegations are there that many municipalities in rural areas cannot pay salaries to its employee because of low funds. While for any development work, they have to depend on government allocation. The report actually speaks volumes about our approach to paying or collecting holding tax.
The liability of city corporations or municipalities is not less as far as making the residents aware of paying taxes is concerned. At the same time, what sorts of action they take against the defaulters is not clear to anyone. Any corporation and municipality collect the tax by enforcing some rules/laws. But it is learnt that the laws are inadequate to punish anybody, even the tax defaulters.
It is for sure that strict enforcement of law will certainly raise the amount of holding tax collection. Therefore, city corporations and municipalities need to introduce a standard and consistent policy for the purpose and for dealing with delinquent and defaulting payers.