Facing up to 70% losses in business, the traders of Connaught Place want the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to increase their property tax rebate by 30%. These traders already get a 20% rebate from NDMC.
Traders say that shops in Outer and Middle circles hardly get any footfall due to pits that have been dug up all around in the marketplace. Therefore, most shops are not in a position to pay the property tax that had gone up by up to 20 times in 2009.
“With a decrease in the number of shoppers, many shop owners are finding it impossible to pay the increased rates. Even the posh areas of south Delhi are paying a lower amount,” said Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Traders’ Association (NDTA). The association along with many other market groups is already at loggerheads with the NDMC in court over the issue.
Till the time a decision is reached, the NDTA has requested the NDMC to increase the rebate to 50% or relax the payment of taxes completely till the market is restored.
“A shop paying Rs 2,000 as property tax earlier now has to pay R2 lakh. No other areas except those of NDMC have seen hikes of such magnitude,” said a trader who did not wish to be named.
A senior NDMC official however said that the amount of losses is being exaggerated and that CP does get a lot of shoppers even though it is dug up.
“Due to good connectivity, the market gets a lot of shoppers. The matter of tax is sub judice and we will have to wait for court decision to take the final call,” the officer added.