Gondia’s Birsi airport to pay Rs 34 lakh property tax to GP

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Apr 2017 10:09:54

Principal Correspondent,

After much deliberation, the airport authorities have agreed to pay Rs 4 lakh as first installment

Bowing down to the pressure created by Birsi Gram Panchayat (GP), Gondia’s Birsi airport has paid property tax as demanded by the GP. This is probably for the first time in India that a local body has acted tough against an airport to recover tax.

Birsi airport is situated at a distance of 16 kms from Gondia. It comes under Birsi-Kamta Gram Panchayat. The airport was started in 2005. Till now, there has been no commercial flight operation at the airport except for the activities of Flying Institute.

In January last, Birsi-Kamta Gram Panchayat had issued a notice to the airport asking it to pay Rs 34 lakh due against property tax. The notice was a shocker for the airport authorities as they were unaware about any such tax. Lot of deliberations followed on the issue. Earlier, the Gram Panchayat had asked the airport orally to pay the tax but the authorities did not pay heed.

The officers of Airport Authority of India also checked all the documents and it was found that under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, the civic authorities can recover property tax.
Meanwhile, the Birsi GP, in its notice, has warned Birsi airport that if it fails to pay the tax, the airport would be sealed by it. Finally, the airport authorities have decided to pay Rs 4 lakh as first installment to the GP.

While talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Rajja Redi, Airport Director of Birsi airport, made it clear that the Airport Authority had paid the tax and there was no issue in that regard.