Three days after former mayor Subhash Chawla resigned from the chairmanship of the house tax committee over the imposition of house tax, city mayor Poonam Sharma has shot off a letter to UT adviser Vijay Dev stating the notification has not been issued as per the rule, and that it should be withdrawn.
“The MC has already levied the house tax at `1 per square yard in 2013. The Section 90, sub-section (4) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the UT, stipulates that the government may direct the MC to impose “any tax falling within sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), if not already imposed,”the letter reads.
Since the house tax has been already imposed by the MC, the provisions of sub-section 4 of the Act are not attracted to proceed under sub-section 5. Also, sub-section 5 of section 90 of the Act stipulates that if the civic body fails to carry out any order passed under sub-section 4, the government may itself impose the tax that will operate straightway and will not require any further consideration by the MC, states the letter.
In this context, the letter reads, “The July 27 notification mentions that in a letter on September 22, 2014, the administration had directed the MC — under Section 90 (4) of the Act — to revise its earlier proposal regarding house tax and the MC has not been able to do so, as a result of which the administration acted under section 90 (5).”
The letter also states that another communication on September 22, 2014, did not contain the specific details as given in annexures to the notification on July 27. “The MC should revise the house tax so as to bring in conformity with the Act and to make it financially more reasonable,” it reads, adding that it is a major drawback that the notification is not in accordance with the provisions of the Act.