The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and development charges being demanded by TSSPDCL and TRANSCO were turning into hurdles for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), which sought to accelerate completion of projects — especially those part of Strategic Road Development Programme (SRDP).
According to GHMC officials, who are fighting tight project deadlines, these taxes burden them as they find it difficult to pay the exorbitant charges. Despite the State Government GOMS 67, electricity officials were demanding 18 per cent GST as against 12 per cent on all engineering works such as shifting transformers, power lines and poles, among others.
The difference of six per cent was turning out to be a huge amount. Even though the work bills were being cleared for payment with 18 per cent GST to complete the works early, GHMC’s finance department was not approving these, citing the government orders, a senior official of the civic body said.
In addition to this, TRANSCO was demanding 27.5 per cent additional developmental charges, including supervision and engineering charges for executing different works. The total charges come up to 33.5 per cent for the electricity department alone, which is exorbitant for any project.
The issue was taken up with the electricity department and an appeal made in vain to cut down the charges as per the government orders, the official said. Unless the department’s board approves the slash in charges, they insist
on payment of existing rates, he said.
This is affecting ongoing works. For instance, in case of the Jubilee Hills Road No. 45 flyover, out of the 53 piers, 34 were built and the remaining would have to be taken up only after the 132 KV lines were relocated or laid underground, the official said.
At present, the Jubilee Hills Road No, 45 elevated corridor, Kothaguda flyover, OU Colony flyover and other projects are being executed in the GHMC West Zone alone. Similarly, in other zones, officials are faced with the problem of GST and supervision charges.
Like the electricity department, these charges are also paid to the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board for shifting pipelines and other utilities, and the water board was not insisting on 18 per cent GST and other charges, the official added.
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