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A.P. via CNN: Indian eunuchs help collect taxes

One cash-strapped Indian city has launched a unique collection service to dislodge payment from tax deadbeats: Door-to-door eunuchs.

Eunuchs, or men who lack external genitalia, are regarded as powerless in India and traditionally make a living on tips for dancing at weddings or blessing newborns.

But they are also known for extreme stubbornness and Patna, the capital of Bihar state in eastern India, hired scores of them Wednesday to compel shop owners to pay their tax arrears.

"We are confident that their reputation and persuasive skills will come in handy for the municipal authorities to collect taxes from defaulters," said Bharat Sharma, a revenue officer.

Only 2,000 of nearly half a million people have been paying property tax and water supply charges to Patna's municipal authorities, and tax collection is less than one-third of a projected tax base of $15 million, said Atul Prasad, the municipal administrator.

When I went to my friend's wedding in Mumbai, some colorfully dressed dancing eunuchs crashed the party outside his house before the ceremony, and it took like an hour to bribe and persuade them to go away.  I don't know if it's true, but I was told that their secret weapon (feared by all) is to flash you if you don't pay them enough.

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Hmmm... looks like it may be true

Rien ne réussit comme le succès.

by marco on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 12:41:20 AM EST
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