Pointing to glaring lapses and loopholes in the collection of professional tax from medical practitioners, a committee of the state legislature has called for doctors to be registered for the tax and the money to be recovered from them.
“Though the recovery of professional tax from medical professionals in Maharashtra is better than the same in other states, the lacunae in the process and system need to reduce and maximum recovery of professional tax done by the government,” said a report of the public accounts committee (PAC) which was submitted to the state legislature during the recent monsoon session.
The PAC, which is headed by senior Congress MLA from Gondia Gopaldas Agarwal, came down heavily on officials for these lapses. It called for a special drive to recover professional tax from medical professionals who have not paid it and also stressed on the need to reduce the procedures in the system of recovery.
The CAG, in its report for 2009-10, had earlier pointed to how the state had lost out on revenue to the tune of Rs18.76 crore due to doctors not being registered for professional tax. The auditors noted that while 19,843 medical practitioners in five districts of Amravati, Latur, Nanded, Sangli and Solapur had registered themselves with medical councils, only 2,136 had registered themselves for payment of professional tax.
“The CAG brought to notice that for five to seven years, the medical professionals in the five districts had not paid professional tax. All this happens in the daily lives of government officials. It is surely not commendable that experts do not realise this even after five to seven years and even after the CAG brought it to light, the process of recovery does not seem to have picked up,” the PAC said.
The report added that after CAG’s objections, a special drive to recover professional tax had been initiated and notices sent to professional councils, and this had reflected in a rise in the collection of the levy from 2009-10 to 2012-13.