Mysore, Mar. 9 (KK&KMC)- Cauvery Emporium, the State-owned handicrafts showroom on Sayyaji Rao Road in city and a must-visit place of interest for tourists hunting for souvenirs, was the latest to be raided by the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) officials yesterday afternoon to recover tax dues.

According to MCC officials, the Emporium, located in the Chamarajendra Technical Institute (CTI) building owned by the Public Works Department (PWD), owes Rs. 29.40 lakh as property tax, for which the MCC had served 15 notices in the past two years.

The MCC team, led by Assistant Commissioner Thimmappa, began taking stock of the artefacts displayed in the showroom, intending to acquire them in lieu of the taxes. A few of the wood-carved elephants were carried out of the showroom too, each priced at Rs. one lakh and above.

Meanwhile, showroom Manager Ranganath contacted his higher-ups and the MCC officials were then told to cease their forcible acquisition process.

However, MCC officials, ac-ting under the directions of Commissioner K.S. Raikar, refused to halt their tax-reco- very procedure.

Ranganath told the officials that the emporium had forwarded the MCC's earlier notices to the PWD officials, to whom they had paid the rent promptly, even for the month of March 2010.

Thimmappa said that the commercial establishments having tax dues of over Rs. one lakh will be raided by the MCC as part of their recovery drive.

Rent- Rs. 1000: Turnover in lakhs

Cauvery Emporium pays a monthly rent of Rs. 1000 to the PWD that owns the CTI building. But the annual turnover of the emporium is well above Rs. 30 lakh. It has not paid property tax since 2002, it is alleged. Their argument is that tenant need not pay property tax.

But the PWD's contention is that since the Emporium is earning high profits, the business establishment must pay the property tax and not the PWD, which owns the building.

If the Government undertakings themselves are defaulters, how can they expect the common man to pay taxes?

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore