Taking note of consistent citizen protests against the proposed capital value property tax system, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s Standing committee will now form a sub-committee, which will hear out citizen grievances submitted to the civic body, on this issue. This sub-committee will then also consider the draft provisions of the proposed taxation system and call for a public hearing before giving its nod.
This was announced by Standing committee chairman, Rahul Shewale, at a meeting held in Bandra (West) by non-government organisations, Action for Good governance and Networking in India (AGNI), and attended by over 250 citizens from across the city. Citizens expressed apprehensions over the new system of calculating their property tax, fearing their taxes will go up.
Speaking at the event, Shewale said, “All suggestions and objections that have been submitted to the civic body will be considered very carefully and so will the administration’s views on those. We will take a final decision on the new system only once we have gone through all these.” Also present in the meeting was AGNI’s managing trustee, DM Sukhtankar, who is also a part of the three-member panel formed by the BMC, to study and suggest the implementation of the new system.
Defending the system, Sukhtankar said most concerns of the citizens had been responded to, by his panel’s report. “All the concerns that citizens have about the new system have been addressed by the panel.” He also termed some of the citizens’ objections to the new system as ‘exaggerated’.
Chembur-based activist Rajkumar Sharma said, “With this new system, the BMC is only talking the language of builders. This new system will burden the middle-class.” AGNI co-ordinator Shyama Kulkarni demanded BMC hold a public hearing, before the policy is finalised.