After several protests from paid-parking contractors over implication of service tax, the municipal corporation (MC) finance and contract committee (F and CC) formed a committee to review the terms and conditions of the policy pertaining to paid parking in the city at a meeting held here on Tuesday.
Paid-parking contractors are protesting against civic body’s decision to charge 12.36 % service tax. As a result of this, out of the total 24 parking lots, six contractors left the contract, while three have issued notices. The contractors are questioning the administration saying why they should pay tax when they are not charging the same from people.
The MC decided to charge service tax from contractors retrospectively from 2012 to 2014. The civic body had already paid service tax to the government, and later informed the parking contractors to pay it retrospectively.
The same committee will also frame a policy regarding allotment of taxi stands in the city.
F and CC member Pardeep Chhabra said, “Once the policy regarding paid parking is reviewed, the problem will be sorted out. The problem of Night Food Street in Sector 14, which is in bad shape, was also raised in the meeting and it has been decided that officers will keep a regular check on the market for its upkeep.”
The committee also referred the issue of 80 public toilets to the MC House meeting scheduled to be held on June 25. The F and CC committee, in a meeting held on May 29, had decided to allot toilets to market welfare associations, but took a U-turn when they realised that it did not have financial competence and only had power to approve projects worth Rs 35 lakh. The agenda of maintenance and operation of toilets is more than Rs 1 crore.
The members also urged officials to frame a policy regarding allotment of nearly 240 booths in various parts of the city. In the past decade, the MC has suffered a loss of nearly Rs 4 crore.
In November last year, the civic body constructed 40 booths under the newly- constructed over bridge in Sector 17, but they are still lying vacant.
Similarly, 12 booths are lying vacant at the subway in Sector 17-22, 140 at Mauli Jagran, 26 booths meant for modernised air-conditioned fish market in Sector 41, and at various other villages of Chandigarh.
Even the audit report of Chandigarh released in October last year pointed out that in the past decade, the MC suffered a loss of nearly Rs 4 crore, and the MC has not taken any effort to lease out shops lying vacant since 2004.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan, and was attended by MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh and other members of the committee namely Anoop Sunny Gill, Malkiat Singh, MP Kohli, Saurabh Joshi, and officers of the MC - Sunil Bhatia, Sarita Malik and Mukesh Anand, among others.