Even after six months, the deadlock between the municipal corporation (MC) and UT administration over charges of house tax is far from over. Even though, while issuing a notification of house tax, UT administration urged MC to revise tax within three months in July last year, MC has sent a proposal to the administration of the same rates charged last year. The file is lying pending with UT administrator Shivraj V Patil for final approval.
With this, residents are in a fix over paying house rent.
On July 4 last year, UT administration had notified house tax in Chandigarh at the rate of 1 per square yard for houses covering an area of 125 square yards or more. The administration had exempted houses having plot area less than 125 square yards, economical weaker section (EWS), low income groups (LIG) category, and houses in villages falling within the limits of the MC.
MC joint commissioner Rajeev Gupta said, “We sent the proposal of the same rate in January this year, but are still awaiting final approval from the administration.” On the other hand, UT home secretary Anil Kumar said, “We want MC to revise the rate as it is too low compared to that of Punjab and Haryana. We have sent rates of all three states to the UT administrator, who will take the final call.”
When the UT administration asked MC to revise rates last year, MC formed a six-member committee under the chairmanship of Sunil Bhatia, additional commissioner, MC, and even prepared a draft of the revised rates, but the House rejected it.
BJP councillor Arun Sood said, “Congress misled people by assuring them that tax would only be imposed at the rate of 1 per square yard, and assured that it will not increase. However, according to the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, tax is to be imposed as per the rental value of the building. The UT administration has sent several reminders to revise the tax. We will now make it happen.”
Arvind Jain, president of Market Welfare Association, Sector 22, said, “Poor coordination of MC and UT has come to fore with the tax issue. It is unfortunate that even after six months, they are not able to decide about house tax, leaving residents in a fix.”