“You wait, you’ll have to pay more.”
This is what Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said when asked if her government planned more hikes after preparations for the Commonwealth Games were over.
She said the next round of hikes might come sooner than that. In March 2010, the government will raise the value-added tax (VAT) rates of several items under the 12.5 per cent slab to 20 per cent. These might include expensive pens, mobile phones and luxury cars.
“You have to pay more for better services,” Dikshit told HT. “Our collections have to be better. You travel in lovely low-floor buses and AC buses, you’ll have to pay more.”
Dikshit said the proposal to raise VAT rates for luxury items would be tabled in the assembly during the budget session in March. “I believe people should pay more VAT on luxurious items,” she said.
Dikshit said the recent hikes had been long overdue and were required, even if they were unpopular.
Over the past months, charges for various amenities in Delhi have gone up. These include average hikes of 70 per cent in bus fares, 36 per cent in Metro fares, and between 57 and 160 per cent in water tariffs.