Paying ground rent: energy-sapping exercise
LAST May there appeared an announcement in the local press, asking for payment of ground rent dues to the KDA. When approached, it transpired that beginning 2004 the rate had risen from one anna (1/16 Rs) to Rs3 per sq yd per year — an increase of 4,700 per cent.
After inspection of the various documents, I was asked to submit a pay order for an amount loaded with heavy penalty for late payment — a little relief on the penalty is admitted.
The next day I submitted the required pay order and was advised to get the final receipt after a few days. Accepting it to be a project, a taxpayer has to visit the KDA office at the Civic Centre at least three times–once to know the amount of the bill to be paid, then to get the pay order prepared and submit it and, lastly, to get the receipt.
And that will be only when the taxpayer is fortunate enough to find the office opened and the relevant staff available all the time.
On the top of all, one does not know on which date of the year this exercise be started. It is for anybody to guess how much this venture would cost a person in terms of money, time and pains involved. The cost of the three visits and for making pay order might even exceed the amount of ground rent.
Will it be too much to expect the KDA to send their bills to property owners as is normally done for all other dues such as electricity, water, gas, phones and property tax?