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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

BEST wants to include transport in property tax

Prajakta Chavan Rane , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 20, 2013
First Published: 09:12 IST(20/8/2013) | Last Updated: 09:16 IST(20/8/2013)

In a bid to increase its revenue, the loss-making Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking is looking at collecting transport tax from the citizens through the civic body’s property tax.

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“Though we have not made a formal proposal yet, it is a good idea. The national urban transport policy suggests additional taxes could be imposed to subsidise public transport,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.

The undertaking has suffered a loss of nearly Rs5,000 crore, mainly on account of its transport wing, which is subsidised by the revenue received through the power supply wing.

Since ease of commute and property value could be interrelated, the BEST has spotted an opportunity to raise more revenue.

But this means that all citizens, irrespective of whether they take BEST buses or not, could be taxed.

“We have written to the civic body in the past with regard to the policy,” Gupta added.

The national policy states that the Centre will encourage levy of dedicated taxes to be credited to an urban transport fund and used exclusively to meet urban transport needs within the state.

Additional commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, “Property tax and urban transport fund are two different aspects. We have already created an urban transport fund in early 2012, with an initial fund of Rs1lakh. We are deliberating on ways to improve revenue towards and utilise these funds.”


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