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Help Survey to assess number of DTH, cable connections
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PUNE: The Pune division of the state entertainment tax (ET) department will undertake a survey to get the exact number of cable network consumers and direct to home (DTH) connections registered in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad, with the help of computer software. This will help the department to tighten the noose on cable operators evading tax by under-reporting the number of cable connection holders.

The department will compare the properties in the city on which property tax is paid with the list of projected cable and DTH connections. Officials added that the property tax receipt number will be used as a unique identification number for the cable or DTH connection for that particular property.

Current estimates from the ET department say that the district has 2.25 lakh cable connections, 6.67 lakh DTH connections and approximately 1,000 cable operators.

Deputy commissioner of the department's Pune division Lahu Mali said, "Cable operators give us an affidavit listing the number of connections. They pay a tax of Rs 45 per month per connection on the basis of this list. However, we found out that the sum total of all cable and DTH connections projected is less than the total number of properties, [which is inconsistent] considering that every household property these days has a cable or DTH connection."

The department has asked the civic bodies for the lists of household properties in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad that pay property tax. This list will then be compared to the list of projected cable and DTH connections in various properties in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, already available with the ET department. The properties that do not figure in the 'projected' list will then be physically surveyed to check for cable or DTH connections, which will help the authorities to calculate the actual number of such connections. The procedure will be done online.

"We had undertaken such a survey in the past, but it was a manual, door-to-door survey, which was time-consuming. The current method is quicker and accurate," added head of the ET department, Gitanjali Shirke.

Meanwhile, the department has decided to computerise the process of paying entertainment tax, wherein cable operators in the district will be required to pay tax online instead of manually. "This system will enable them to get an online receipt after the payment of the tax," added Shirke.

Source: The Times Of India

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