Mormugao council threatens to seal bank premises in port town
11th January 2019, 03:35 Hrs
the goan I network
After failing to respond to its three notices, the Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) has threatened to seal a nationalized bank in the port town if its bank manager fails to submit the latest lease and license agreement within the next three days.
MMC Chief Officer Angelo Fernandes wrote to the bank manager on Thursday to submit the latest copy of lease and license agreements to the council within the stipulated time, failing which the MMC would go ahead and sealing the premises without further delay or intimation to the bank.
RTI Activist and social worker P Yusuf had recently claimed that several nationalized banks operating in Vasco had been misguiding the MMC by submitting wrong information of the rent they pay to the premise owners to evade property taxes.
Yusuf had said while banks pay lakhs of rupees per month as rent of premises, the information submitted to MMC was a meagre figure running in a few thousands of rupees.
Yusuf had also obtained documents to show that one bank was paying a rent of Rs 1.2 lakh a month to the owner, but MMC documents showed that the rent was merely Rs 8,500.
Fernandes later issued notices to 21 banks to produce copy of their Leave and License agreements of their premises within seven days.
When contacted, Fernandes said a nationalized bank along the F L Gomes road has not submitted the Leave and License agreement despite three reminders on October 10, November 16 and December 14.
“Papers produced to the MMC by the nationalised Bank showed a 35-year-old agreement dated June 10, 1984, which wasn’t renewed and the rent shown was Rs 6300 per annum.”
“If banks are on rented premises, they have to pay Property tax besides House tax which is equivalent to one month rent to the MMC as per the Municipality Act and this was not done till now by many institutions,” said Fernandes.
Claiming that the exercise to recover its dues was long overdue, Fernandes said the rules would be implemented strictly as per the provision of the Municipal Act.
“Nationalized banks cannot escape their dues. We have not acted because the public should not be put to inconvenience because of negligence from the banks.”
“But if this bank does not pay heed to our letters, we have no option but to go ahead with the sealing of the premises,” warned Fernandes.