With their eyes firmly set on the assembly elections next year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday went all out to woo Delhiites by announcing that it will not impose any new municipal taxes or increase existing ones in the financial year 2013-2014.
Currently, the BJP rules all the three municipal corporations in the city and has the final say in determining property tax and parking rates.
“The residents of Delhi are already reeling under inflation and so we have decided to keep taxes and parking charges at the existing rates,” said state BJP president Vijender Gupta.
Earlier this month, the commissioners of all the three corporations had suggested a hike in property tax and parking charges in order to improve the finances of the municipal bodies. East Corporation commissioner SS Yadav had even suggested the introduction of education tax and professional tax to augment its income so that more money can be channelled into developmental activities.
BJP leaders, however, said that instead of imposing new taxes, they will improve the finances by bringing more properties under the tax gambit. At present only 10 lakh properties out of the total 36 lakh are paying taxes to the corporations.
As elections close in, Vijender Gupta announced on Saturday that the party will also give a concession of 2 per cent to property owners who pay house tax of less than R5,000.
Gupta said that the parking rates of all the three corporations would be made uniform. “Education tax, professional tax, tax on power produced from generator, improvement tax and other taxes shall not be imposed,” he added.
The announcement was made after a meeting chaired by Gupta and attended by the leader of house, chairman and standing committee of the three corporations.
Addressing the media, Gupta alleged that the government is trying to cripple the three corporations by refusing to provide adequate funds. “At the time of trifurcation, the Delhi government had promised that the corporations shall be granted R1,550 crore so that their financial condition can stabilise. This amount has not been given till now,” he said.