Hyderabad, India, Feb, 2021 -- The Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration (CDMA), Telangana has launched a dedicated WhatsApp channel, to ease the process of tax payment for citizens across the region. This service will be free-to-use and will also function as a source for up-to-date information about tax dues.
People can simply send a ‘Hi’ to CDMA, Telangana’s official WhatsApp account on +91 90002 53342, to easily access these services and pay their taxes conveniently via a debit card, credit card or internet banking. The chatbot is currently available in English and Telugu, with CDMA working to add Urdu as an additional language soon.
The ‘CDMA, Telangana Property Tax Module’ is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which has allowed citizens to substitute visits to the Municipal office, enabling contactless transactions during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The WhatsApp-based service is also expected to significantly boost Tax collections.
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Commenting on the initiative, Shri KT Rama Rao, Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Telangana, said, "Telangana is one of the fastest urbanizing states. With close to 20 lakh property tax assessments across urban local bodies, our citizens are still paying their taxes through POS machines, or citizen service centres. In line with our Digital Telangana Initiatives, we have introduced a citizen service on WhatsApp that has already yielded positive results and feedback. We would like to thank the WhatsApp team for their help in setting up this service. We will continue to add more services on CDMA's WhatsApp chatbot to ensure these services remain resourceful to citizens."
"We’re delighted to partner with CDMA, Telangana and support their efforts to promote a Digital India through impactful Government to Citizen (G2C) services on WhatsApp. Since the onset of the pandemic, WhatsApp has increasingly become a preferred platform for conversations not only between friends, businesses and customers but also between governments and citizens. We are humbled to see the many impactful ways in which WhatsApp is bringing value to the country," said, Shivnath Thukral, Head of Public Policy, WhatsApp India.
Following an overwhelming response from citizens on the Tax Module, the CDMA, Telangana is also working towards leveraging WhatsApp to roll out services that will aid payment of water bills, and other day-to-day municipality services like applying for birth and death certificates, grievances, enabling a water connection, building permissions, trade licenses and more. The WhatsApp-based channel will provide citizens with all the information they need as well as a direct link to apply online for those services. The CDMA, Telangana will also aim to include critical information on COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Telangana on the account at an appropriate juncture.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
WhatsApp Inc. is an early stage technology startup founded in the heart of Silicon Valley who have developed an alternative to SMS.
Published: Monday, March 1, 2021
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