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Saffron bait for voters: Zero hike in property taxes

india Updated: Mar 12, 2012 01:26 IST
Hamari Jamatia
Hamari Jamatia
Hindustan Times
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For the past two years, the BJP-led MCD has not increased property taxes in the city. The party hopes to use this fact as a bait for voters. This, despite the fact that cost of booking halls and parks for social functions has increased manifold.

Preparing the election campaign’s modus operandi, state BJP president Vijender Gupta said keeping taxes under control has been a major achievement of the party.

BJP had come to power in 2007 and in 2009, the same party had raised property taxes by 1-3%.

Gupta, however, said, “At a time when prices are rising elsewhere, MCD has been

able to increase its income without putting extra burden on the citizens.”

Over the past five years, the booking rates for community halls and parks for social functions have been raised many times by the civic agency.

While community hall booking rates have risen from Rs 1,500 a day to Rs 5,000, park rates have increased from an average of Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. Service taxes on the bookings have also been imposed.

However, the municipal commissioner kept suggesting hiking property taxes over

the past two years. But the BJP kept turning it down, saying income will be increased by bringing more properties under the tax net.

The other four issues on which the battle for the three corporations will be fought includes implementation of e-governance, a ‘better’ garbage management system, completion of civic centre and improving the agency’s financial standing. While earlier, MCD’s annual budget was around Rs 3,000 crore per year, it went up to Rs 7,800 crore in 2012-2013.

“Through e-governance, we have been able to bring more transparency in the system. And through continuous upgradation of garbage disposal

services, we have been able to improve sanitation in the city,” Gupta added.