The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has begun using its WhatsApp’s chatbot service to send property tax bills to citizens.
So far, the civic body has sent over 10 lakh property tax bills through this feature since the beginning of the current fiscal.
“It was a time taking process to access bills, visit ward offices and complete payments, now things have become easier as the bills reach us on the phone,” said Manasi Kulkarni, a resident of Mahatma society in Kothrud.
The facility allows citizens to get information about property tax, dues, payment receipts, and NOCs on a round-the-clock basis. Citizens can access the service by sending a WhatsApp message to 8888251001.
Civic officials said the move has proved to be user-friendly and helped facilitate easier interactions with public. It has, officials said, also eliminated the challenge of sending property tax bills physically, especially to wrong addresses.
“We are using this technology for reaching out to maximum number of taxpayers,” head of PMC’s property tax department, Ajit Deshmukh told.
According to officials, the civic body is using data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for property tax assessment through satellite imaging. “Apart from the old areas, newly merged areas are being surveyed by the PMC using the technology,” officials added.
The civic administration completed the assessment using annual ratable value and bills corresponding to the assessment have been issued. Various departments of the civic body had tied up internally to cross verify if the newly added properties were taxed or not.
According to PMC officials, detection and addition of new properties to the tax ambit has helped to increase its revenue. The PMC has set a target of Rs 2318.15 crore for property tax collection in 2023-24. It also expects to get around Rs 300 crore from water tax, a component of the property tax, taking the total expected revenue from property tax to Rs 2,618.15 crore.