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AAP Anticipates Property Tax Hike In Delhi, Warns MCD Against Such Move

The AAP anticipated that there was a move to hike the property tax in the capital after Lt Governor V K Saxena announced in a statement on Monday that "major" changes have been made in the civic body's property tax structure.

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The AAP on Tuesday warned the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) against any move to increase property tax, asserting that such a step will get stiff opposition from the party. The party anticipated that there was a move to hike the property tax in the capital after Lt Governor V K Saxena announced in a statement on Monday that "major" changes have been made in the civic body's property tax structure.

As the BJP left the MCD "bankrupt" after completing 15 years of its "corrupt regime", the civic body is now gearing up to hike the property tax and further increase the burden on the people of Delhi in the name of improving financial health of the body, the party charged.

"The AAP vehemently opposes the move to increase property tax because the people of Delhi have already paid various taxes to the MCD during the 15-year rule of the BJP and yet the it does not fulfil its responsibilities," party MLA Atishi told reporters. AAP's chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said when all the three MCDs were unified, the BJP "deceived" people of Delhi by making them believe that funds will come to the civic body from the Union government.

"But yesterday, a press release was issued from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor which indicates that this money (funds) will come from the hard-earned money of the people of Delhi," he claimed, adding, "In a few days, the people of Delhi will face the heat of revised property tax."

Top officials of the MCD held a meeting on July 4 to finalise the revised structure of the property tax, he claimed. "This is a blueprint to make a bigger hole in the pockets of the common man and it has been handed over to the LG," he added.

Bharadwaj also picked holes in the the SAH-BHAGITA scheme, launched by the Lt Governor on Monday to incentivise the resident welfare associations (RWA) on achieving 90 per cent tax collection from total number of properties in their societies or colonies.

According to a statement released by the LG office on Monday, the scheme will allow such RWAs to recommend development work to the tune of 10 per cent of the collected tax amount, with a cap of Rs one lakh, said a statement from LG office. Further, an additional five per cent of the tax collected will be provided if a residential colony implements 100 per cent waste segregation at source, composting, recycling of recyclable dry waste, it said.

"Firstly, it is not the job of the RWA to collect 90 per cent property tax because you don't pay them for this. But if the RWA succeeds in collecting 90 per cent tax, you're saying that you will spend 10 per cent of that amount on their colony," Bhadwaj said. "I want to ask MCD officials to tell if it is possible to complete any single work with this work when you have put a ceiling on this expense to be Rs 1 lakh," he said, alleging that the civic body officials are misleading the Lt Governor. 

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(With PTI Inputs)

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