Pune Municipal Corporation Seals 15 Schools Over Non-Payment Of Property Tax – Pune Media
Pune, 5th December 2023: In defiance of the Supreme Court of India’s directives offering concessions, including property tax reductions, to organizations in the education and health sectors, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is under fire for imposing exorbitant property taxes on school buildings within the city. The levied taxes, coupled with fines and interest, have been reported to be five times the original amount, prompting the PMC administration to ‘seal’ the buildings of 15 schools.
Private school operators in the city, speaking anonymously, revealed on Monday that approximately 25,000 students across these 15 schools are experiencing educational disruptions due to the ‘sealing’ of school premises over overdue property taxes.
A well-established English medium school in the southern part of Pune, operational for two decades, has been handed a property tax bill of Rs 11 lakhs for the past three years. However, the PMC administration has imposed fines and interest amounting to nearly five times the original sum, resulting in a demand for Rs 55 lakhs. School administrators are grappling with the challenge of paying a demand that exceeds the arrears and question the apparent contradiction with the tax exemptions mandated for educational institutions by the Supreme Court of India.
All the affected schools, accommodating classes from I to XII, collectively host at least two thousand students on average. Notably, 25 per cent of these students benefit from free admission under the provisions of the Free and Right to Education Act (RTE).
Additionally, buildings of certain social institutions, including one associated with a former deputy chief minister of the state, have also faced ‘sealing’ as part of the property tax recovery measures.
This controversial move by the PMC Administration has raised concerns among educational institutions and the broader community, prompting calls for a reconsideration of tax policies in alignment with the Supreme Court’s concessions for organizations contributing to the sectors of education and health.
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