Exasperating – BBMP’s net property tax payment experience

From 1st April, when BBMP’s property tax collection was set in motion, I had been mentally girdling myself up to undertake the task of making the payment on the net, the past experiences having been not too happy, to say the least. Meanwhile, yesterday, there was the following exchange between members of a “whatApp” group (of which I am a member), on the subject:

F1: Has anyone succeeded in paying property tax using the “time saving” online portal? I came tantalizingly close once this morning after over a dozen attempts but fell inches short of the finish line.

Me: I have been gathering courage from the beginning of the month to attempt it. It took me about ten attempts to crack it the last time. Will give it a shot today.

F2: I am going to bite the bullet this week. I’ll try some unearthly hour and hope they don’t switch off the server with the lights and fans when they go home.

F1: Finally task accomplished! Am giving myself the rest of the afternoon off to celebrate. The key to cracking this is to face East, stand on one leg, and chant Lakshminrayana 1008 times.

F3: I take the easy way out and send my driver to the tax counter, pay the guy there Rs 100/- to fill the forms, and the job is done.

All of it didn’t help in the least to buttress my resolve to take up the task. All the same, since the last date was approaching fast, I said a quick prayer and got onto the site. Actually, mine is very straight-forward case, there being no changes whatsoever from the previous year. But, when I tried entering my new PID, it refused to open, even after repeat attempts. This was of course on top of the site just hanging, at various stages of my attempts, with all kinds of vague messages coming on as if to explain the hanging. Experience over the years told me not to give up so easily. I then tried the old PID, and voila, the form opened out, with everything filled out, and, since there were no changes to be incorporated, I scrolled straight down to make the payment.

But, here arose the fresh problem, which was not there last year (or before that). Payments could be effected through Credit/ debit cards of only IDBI, Corporation Bank, and IndusInd Bank, and net-banking option was available only through ICICI, IndusInd, Axis, and HDFC banks. As such, if you didn’t have one of these tie-ups, there didn’t seem to be any way of making the payment. Now, since I bank with Corporation bank, I thought I was in luck, and went ahead to make the payment. But, even with repeat attempts, all I kept getting was the message “please wait”, and the site going dead thereafter.

Now, alongside InduInd bank’s name, there appeared a link supposedly to some 33 other banks. But, clicking on the same took you to list of the names of the banks, but with no obvious indications as to what to do with the list. Perhaps, if you read the verbose fine print, that’s there all over the forms as well as the site, perhaps the directions are there somewhere. But, finding that will call for a level of patience few human beings are generally capable of. Is it any surprise then that my friend, F3, chooses the easy way out?

And, the BBMP has the gall to term it “time saving”. In fact, I am inclined to believe that it’s deliberately retained this way so that a majority of the people, busy as there with their everyday life’s activities (like my friend, F3), will choose the easier way out, this in turn fattening the pockets of the neta-babu combo. The same people, when it comes to booking tickets for a movie/ show, bus/ rail/ air/ taxi travel, will today be doing it all on the net, and with finesse, the difference plainly being the user-friendliness, which term is apparently unknown to BBMP.

And, to add insult to the injury, today I get a message from BX-BBMPAD reading ” Dear Bengalurians – Kindly avail 5% rebate on Property Tax for 2015-16 by paying before 30th April, 2015. It can be paid online using credit or debit cards.”

Finally, this morning, when my daughter, who has an account with HDFC bank, came over, I sought her help to make the payment, ending my 5 + 2 hours ordeal spread over two days (incidentally, dummy runs through options other than that of HDFC too seemed dead-ended, as with Corporation Bank), which, with any other site managed by professionals, shouldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes. I thereafter re-imbursed the amount to my daughter, through the net, in less than a minute.

Essentially, what is needed is professionalism. And, government and the word are antonymous, whether it’s a matter of tax collection, power supply, water supply, bus services, what have you. The answer plainly lies in outsourcing all of these functions to professionals (with credibility, and not some Katta Subramanya Naidu nephew types), and concentrating just on governance.

Property Tax on line payment:

Promod Kapur– 26 Apr 2015 – 1:11pm

Murli, you are partly right. I tried but not having the connrcterd bank, I downloaded the return, made a cheque and paid at the ward office. I was out within 2 minutes – done and sealed. The saving really is in the fact that your return is automnatically created and one does not have to fill every column manually. But I hope that next time around they will facilitate payment through all banks through their credit/derbit cards.

Thankfully, I did not have to spend as much time as you had to, but appreciate that yours must definitely be a frustrating and annoying experience.

Issue with PID /App Nos.?

Naveen – 26 Apr 2015

I have been paying property tax online for my house for the past 5-6 years without a hitch using Canara bank credit or debit cards. However, I have been facing problems wrt online payment for apartment.

I was told that once new PID Nos. have been allotted, the problem would be solved & to use 2012-13 application no. till then. When I tried to extract property details with 2012-13 application no., it says “No record”, hence paid at the domlur BBMP revenue office.

The payment portal needs improvement, no doubt.