Mangaluru Sep 8, 2016: The council of Mangaluru City Corporation has restricted to collect solid waste management (SWM) cess from public places of worship in the city.
The civic body not collecting the cess from them has come under the scanner of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
The CAG which audited the accounts of the corporation from 2012-13 to 2014-15 has objected to not imposing SWM cess on temples, churches, mosques and other public places of worship.
It is estimated that the city has about 231 public places of worship.
The audit report has said that even if a minimum of Rs. 600 was imposed as SWM cess on them per annum the civic body should have got Rs. 4.15 lakh from them in three years.
Whip in the council M. Shashidhar Hegde told The Hindu that the civic body collected the SWM cess from halls rented out in the premises of places of worship for commercial purpose.
On the other hand, public places of worship are exempted from paying property tax under Section 110 of The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. Even though the audit report has raised objection there is exemption under law.
Hence the council has decided that there was no need to collect the SWM cess from the main structures of public places of worship.
Officials at the civic body had placed the objection raised in the report before the council for taking a decision. The council has dropped the subject and hence it would not be tabled again, Mr. Hegde said.
The corporation collected the SWM cess along with property tax since 2014-15. Section 103 (B) (2) of The Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, empowered the civic body to collect the cess with property tax.