Khadki Cantt Board asks AFK to clear arrears of Rs 29 crore
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Taking a strong exception to the non-payment of dues by the Ammunition Factory Khadki (AFK), the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) has written to the factory asking it to clear arrears on account of service and conservancy charges amounting to over Rs 29 crore at the earliest. The KCB has also taken up the matter with Defence Estates office stating that the dues were pending for years together.
Chief Executive Officer of the cantonment board S V R Chandershekhar said the board has been repeatedly reminding AFK to clear the dues. According to the officials, the arrears of service charges are due since 1998 on the properties that are managed by AFK. The claim of service charges amounting to Rs 26 crore was submitted to AFK in April and it was conveyed to them through a letter to clear the dues.
The pending arrears are up to 2010 financial year. The service charges of around Rs 3 crore for the last financial year have already been paid by AFK. While Rs 23 crore was pending till 2010, the 2010 financial year charges stood at Rs 2.96 crore.
Officials said the conservancy charges of around Rs 3 crore for five years are also pending with the AFK. However, they added that Rs 2.4 crore conservancy charges of last financial year have been cleared by the factory. "The matter has also been taken up with the Defence Ministry," said a cantonment official.
The cantonment officials said they were losing on a major revenue to fund development works in the cantonment area owing to non-payment of arrears. "As the tax resources of the board are limited, we are at the receiving end in the wake of pendencies," said a cantonment official.
Chandershekhar said service charges were in lieu of property tax that is being collected from the cantonment residents and commercial establishment and was less than what is being charged as property tax. "Instead of property tax for the central government buildings, we are taking service charges that is one-third of the property tax estimates," he said. N P Naik, Joint Managing Director of AFK, said he will look into the matter.
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