The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to contest the Delhi High Court judgment exempting Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) from paying property tax. But before it does that, the civic body will try to reach an out-of-court settlement with the Metro if it agrees to pay tax for using land other than the tracks and platform.
The MCD claims that according to the HC judgment, the DMRC will be exempted from paying property tax only for the metro tracks and platforms, but it will have to pay tax on commercial properties, cafes, residential units, malls, etc., that it is running.
“The DMRC has appeared before the Assessor and Collector to put their viewpoint. But if we are not satisfied with their assessment, we will approach the higher authority,” said Vijendra Gupta, Chairman of the MCD Standing Committee.
The civic body also said the DMRC also needs to pay electricity tax and obtain a trade licence. “Under section 113 of the DMC Act the MCD collects tax for consumption. Moreover, DMRC needs to obtain a trade licence for carrying out their activities. If we are unable to resolve the issue mutually, we will contest the HC judgment,” added Gupta.
After the HC exempted the metro from paying property tax to the civic body upholding the contention that it enjoyed the privilege under the Indian Railways Act and Delhi Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, the DMRC asked the MCD for one month’s time to carry out their assessment.
The DMRC had approached the court after work at some sections could not begin with the MCD refusing to clear developers’ building plans. The civic agency argued that DMRC got prime property at throwaway prices and is making money by leasing it out.