Delhi mayor Rajni Abbi on Thursday said the negative impact of MCD trifurcation has already begun to show in the form of newer taxes proposed in the city. On Wednesday, Municipal Commissioner KS Mehra presented his budget 2012-2013, where he proposed hikes in almost all areas such as property tax, parking charge and street charge. He also introduced two new taxes—congestion tax and conservancy (sanitation) tax —that is expected to squeeze a total of Rs 150 crore from the public.
In a separate statement, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta echoed Abbi and said that the tax hikes should be rejected. Calling it “connivance between the Congress and the bureaucracy”, Gupta said that MCD is holding a special Standing Committee meeting to sort out the issue on Friday. “We will be rejecting all the proposals in the meeting so that the public of Delhi is not burdened,” Gupta said.
However, whether the opposition of the political wing will actually stop the implementation of the taxes remains to be seen. Under the new set up of trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), to be implemented from April 2012, more powers will be vested with the bureaucrats. So while at present councillors can stop the imposition of taxes proposed by the commissioner, after April, chances are slim.
Abbi on Thursday strongly objected to the proposals and said that her fears regarding the trifurcation have come true. “One of the reasons why we had opposed the trifurcation was the fear that it will lead to increase in taxes in the city. In his budget, the commissioner has proposed to levy heavy taxes on the citizens which have vindicated my fears,” she said.
Abbi added that the Delhi government is to be blamed for the introduction of new taxes as it was chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s idea to impose congestion charges. “By making MCD impose the charges, the CM wants the citizen’s ire to be deviated from the government and befall the MCD councillors instead,” she said.