Bengaluru: The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) owes `21.95 crore in taxes to Anneshwara gram panchayat, according to the panchayat members. The airport is located close to the village in Devanahalli taluk.
Shivalingaiah, deputy secretary of Bengaluru Rural Zilla Panchayat, said, “They (BIAL) had an exemption for five years since 2005, when the construction of the airport was completed. However, since 2010, they have been dilly-dallying on payment of the taxes.”
Shivalingaiah attributed the default due to a change in the BIAL’s management. “A new official who came in decided that the annual taxes were too exorbitant. Hence, BIAL approached the government, which directed it to pay the taxes as per the rules. This order was not obeyed. BIAL then approached the Bengaluru Rural ZP, which directed them to pay at least 50 per cent of the balance. However, this has not happened either,” he added.
Anneshwara GP members told Express that the airport had to pay an annual sum of `4.90 crore per year to the panchayat as taxes.
C Muniraju, a member, said, “It was after 2010 (after the end of the exemption period) that the trouble started. When we asked them to pay the tax, they said that they would speak to the government in this regard,” he said.
Manjunath, another member, said that they have already served a notice to BIAL. “We will serve another notice soon, probably within a week. If they don’t act, we will ensure that the airport is seized. We are allowed to do this as per the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act of 1993. The issue was also discussed during the session,” he said.
A BIAL spokesperson said that the payment will be made as per law. “We would like to clarify that as a responsible corporate, BIAL abides by the regulation as defined by the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act. Currently the matter of tax lies with the Zilla Panchayat, Rural district, and BIAL will make the payment in accordance to the law,” the spokesperson said.
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