The Dhaka North City Corporation on Tuesday launched a month-long special drive to boost revenue collection in two of its zones in the capital.
Mayor Md Atiqul Islam inaugurated the drive – set to take place in Dhaka North's Mirpur (Zone 2) and Karwan Bazar (Zone 5) areas on an experimental basis – at a ceremony in the Ward 33 Councilor's Office in Mohammadpur.
At the event, the mayor said, "As part of the special drive, we will go door-to-door. We will visit homes, offices and businesses. Our goal is to expand the tax net, not the amount of tax. The move will allow everyone to pay their [property] taxes at home.
"We will go into automation as per my election manifesto. We will start collecting taxes online from January 1, 2021."
"A revenue collection target of Tk400 crore through holding taxes and Tk100 crore through [issuing] trade licenses has been set for this year. We must meet this target," he added.
"We have a lot of residential areas where there are shops on the ground floor," the mayor said about businesses set up in residential areas, adding, "I will ask Rajuk to come to my office next week to discuss the matter.
"How are businesses being run in residential buildings? The city Corporation does not have the power to issue trade licenses in residential areas. But many businesses are situated there, and this matter needs to be addressed."
Mayor Atiqul also said that many billboards and signboards in Dhaka city have been installed illegally and those who have done so must be brought under the tax net. He also urged the people engaged in the activity to refrain from doing so.
After the inauguration ceremony, the mayor visited various businesses, banks, super shops, residential buildings at the Bosila area. At that time, several businesses were fined a total of Tk5.6 lakh for a number of violations such as not having trade licenses, keeping goods on the road and illegal advertisement.
Some of the establishments that got fined are Shahjalal Bakery, Supershop Shwapno, Vision Electronics, Partex Furniture, Mir Ceramic, and Kai Aluminum.
The mayor also greeted a person from the Kaderia residential area of Mohammadpur for paying the holding tax properly.
The combing operation will eventually extend to other areas of Dhaka North with the aim to bring excluded holdings and organisations under the tax net, increasing the involvement of ward councilors in the activities of the revenue department, ensuring transparency and accountability of this department, and encouraging the public to pay taxes.