State local bodies minister Anil Joshi on Tuesday formally announced corporation status for the town, notification for which was issued a few days ago. Terming the decision 'historic', he said a long-standing demand of the local residents had been met with the municipal body's upgrade, and announced `50-lakh grant for the new corporation, besides promising that more funds would follow.
Besides, a commissioner would be appointed soon and delimitation of wards would be done in due course.
“If needed, more civic bodies in the state will be elevated as corporations,” he added.
Joshi alleged that the opposition parties had created a scare among the public that the government had enhanced the tax burden, and claimed that it was “far from the truth.”
“We have brought some changes in the tax structure to simplify things and remove multiplicity of taxation. On public demand, we have also reduced the regularisation fee and property tax. Only the Congress is raising hullabaloo,” the minister alleged, declining that imposition of property and advance taxes would alienate the urban vote bank from the BJP.
When his attention was brought to the delay in processing of files pertaining to regularisation of colonies, he assured that more officers would be appointed for the task. Currently, applications are received at the local municipal office and forwarded to Jalandhar local bodies deputy director for approval.
The minister said he had “zero tolerance” for indiscipline, and any officer or employee found deviating from the norms would not be spared.
Reminded that contractors often executed development works at a price much below the tendered rate, he said he would look into the matter.
“Quality of work would not be compromised at any cost,” he claimed, and announced that more staff would be recruited for smooth running of the civic bodies.
Joshi was accompanied by chief minister's advisor Tikshan Sud and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narottam Dev Ratti.
Sud expressed hope that development would gather pace with the coming up of the municipal corporation.