Irritated by SMS alerts from insurance and property dealers? There is more to come. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) plans to send SMS reminders to property owners to pay taxes on time.
The civic body is in talks with a service provider for the SMS reminders. A senior official of MCD, text messages will be cheaper than printing ads in newspapers.
“R5-7 lakh is spent on giving ads in papers. Through the SMS service, the expenditure will be a few thousand rupees,” he said.
The provider will charge MCD 1.25 paisa per SMS up to 50 lakh text messages. Between 50 lakh to 1 crore text messages, the SMS provider will charge 1.00 paisa.
He said the MCD will not only remind people to submit taxes but will also explain the procedure. If the pilot project is successful, other services may be added to the SMS scheme.
“The idea has been drawn from other government agencies such as the National Disaster Management Authority and the Northern Railways that send out bulk SMSes as part of their services,” added the senior official.
The political wing of MCD will take the final decision. The civic body has been trying to improve its property tax collections by giving rebates and printing ads in newspapers.
In 2011, it even put up names of tax defaulters on its website, newspapers and zonal offices in order to embarrass property owners but the results were not encouraging.
According to official data, Delhi has about 30 lakh properties but less than half of the owners pay up in the absence of any stringent action.