Tax Sakhis play a vital role in swachhata, village development

With a view to providing town-like facilities in all villages, the district administration of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh has launched the concept of Tax Sakhis with the help of women Self Help Groups in the district.  The Tax Sakhis have been entrusted with the task of collecting all kinds of taxes, including that for swachhata, across the villages.

The move that was initiated under the leadership of CEO-Zila Panchayat, Shri Ritu Rai in April 2022 is much needed given that the panchayats lacked resources to provide services such as door-to-door waste collection, ensuring hygiene and cleaning of public spaces and water bodies, providing regular water supply, and other amenities.

The leadership also realized that the existing method of collecting taxes through Panchayat Secretaries was inefficient and non-transparent. Hence, they felt the need to create a separate cadre of tax collectors who are both efficient and trustworthy, the job providing them an opportunity to earn a livelihood.

For the collection of various taxes levied by the gram panchayat, two Tax Sakhis have been appointed at each gram panchayat. The women collect various taxes such as Property tax, Sanitation Tax, Water Tax, Bazaar tax, etc. on behalf of the Gram Panchayat. From tax collection to its digital entry on the Panchayat Darpan Portal of the Government, the entire work is done by the SHG women.

In this regard, all the necessary orientation and technical training have been provided by the Zila Panchayat to the concerned Tax Sakhis. Further, other orientation and training is being provided from time to time.

The Tax Sakhis start collection around the 10th of every month, and their working hours are dependent on how fast they are able to convince the people to pay up. The entire process is done within five to 10 days in some places, while it can take 15 to 20 days in others. From the total amount collected, the Tax Sakhis receive a 10 percent commission, which can range from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 a month.

The process has given women a new identity.  Take the example of Smt. Shanti Meena and Anita Joshi, who are members of the Unnat SHG group in Nazirabad. In March 2022 their group was given the task of maintaining the Nal-Jal Scheme on behalf of the Zila Panchayat and a contract was signed with the group in this regard.  Soon after, the women began collecting tax from households and market shops and everyone paid them their dues respectfully. The women now work with pride, given that they now have a permanent source of livelihood.


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