The BMC has awarded the contract for upgrading its property tax system to a company that was, in the past, embroiled in a controversy over another contract.
The civic body has cleared a proposal for developing a Tax Intelligence Solution for calculation, collection and payment of its property tax. The Rs 65.22-crore contract, given to Vidarbh Infotech Private Limited, was tabled in the Standing Committee meeting and passed without much discussion Wednesday.
In 2017, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had alleged that Vidarbh Infotech Private Limited, a Nagpur-based company, was given the contract of vehicle towing for Mumbai Traffic Police without following the proper tender procedure. Recently, the state Home department scrapped the contract.
Ahead of the election code of conduct, a two-page separate request regarding the contract, apart from the regular agenda, was tabled in the Standing Committee. According to the proposal, BMC plans to develop an advanced property tax system SAS Property Tax Analytics Solution used worldwide. With this system, the aim is to calculate accurate property tax and analytics, create a data base, curb error in tax calculation and bring maximum people under the property tax system.
A senior BMC official said September 9 was the last date for submitting the bid. On September 17, the financial bids of all the bidders were opened, in which the consortium of Vidarbh Infotech was the lowest. Subsequently, the proposal was tabled in the Standing Committee on September 18 for approval. There were two other bidders. Opposition leader Ravi Raja slammed the BMC and alleged that the ruling party is clearing proposals to benefit the contractors. The company was in controversy for towing contract of Mumbai Traffic Police. The proposal was directly tabled in the Standing Committee and it was not sent to us with the agenda. So I had told them not to clear it without discussion but it was passed, said Raja.
Prashant Ugemuge, managing director of Vidarbha Infotech, said, All the allegations made against us are baseless. We have participated in open tender which was floated in August, so there is no question of a hurry. Also, our company was chosen for this contract with fair competition… We are already working with the BMC for other property tax software since last one year and we were also in the octroi department since 2011. He added, Regarding towing contract, there was no fault of our company and this has been accepted by the High Court… there was a problem within the government s department. We are planning to go against the government s move as there was no mistake on our part and still the contract was cancelled.