Friday, September 18, 2009

Soon, property tax receipts from handheld machines

By G Saravanan
Published on Sept 18:

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation’s way of collecting property tax from assessees is set for a big makeover, as the civic body planned to replace the traditional bill books from the hands of tax collectors with GPRS-enabled online handheld billing machines in the coming days.

Tenders to buy 300 modern handheld billing machines (at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh) had already been floated by the Corporation and the successful bidder would be finalised on Friday evening.
According to a senior official in the Corporation, by using such modern devices, property tax payment is set to become considerably easier since the online process will help both the tax collector and the assessee with instant receipt for the amount paid.
The handheld tax billing device will be modelled on those used by conductors in public transport buses (plying in city) in place of printed tickets.
While those machines (used in buses) are stand alone pieces, the one the civic body planned to purchase is customised with a few additional specifications like slot for swiping credit or debit cards for making tax payments and verification of previous arrears and defaults at the doorstep. The device will be standardised with Euro Master Visa Level 1 and 2 certificates, issued for any client bank in India, and has Visa Paywave and Mastercard Pay Pass approvals, the official said.
Since the device is going to work online through tax collectors, the supplier has been asked to design it with Windows or Linux as operating system on top of which the application programme for property tax collection can run.
Once the final bidders are selected on Friday, the devices will be supplied within a few days to the Corporation and 280 tax collectors working in the 155 wards will be equipped with the modern billing machines and another 10 instruments will be stationed at the 10 Zonal offices for people visiting there for making their property tax payment.
While the civic body would own the devices, the supplier has to maintain them as per tender conditions for the first three years.

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