Mumbai: Slum-dwellers in upmarket areas to pay for their address?

  • Sanjana Bhalerao, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 12, 2015 22:32 IST

Slum-dwellers living in posh areas such as Cuffe Parade may have to pay the price for it, literally.

According to a proposal the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering, slums in the upmarket areas of the city will end up paying more property tax than their counterparts in the suburbs.

The civic body is planning to levy property tax on the basis of a building or structure’s capital value. This is calculated on the basis of factors such as how old a property is, its built-up area and the area’s ready reckoner rates.

Thus, slum-dwellers who live in similar squalid conditions will have to pay different amount of taxes, based on the ready reckoner rates of their areas.

However, civic officials are not sure whether the proposal will get cleared, considering the political rift between the BJP-Shiv Sena’s ruling alliance in the civic body.

Another tax format the BMC is considering includes collecting a lump-sum amount of Rs1200 or Rs1500 a year, from all slums across the city.

“With octroi abolished and the introduction of Goods and Services tax (GST), we are left with no way than widening our tax net to boost revenue. Both the methods to tax slums are under consideration,” said senior civic official from the assessment and collection department.

The proposal to tax slums has already stirred up debate in the civic body. The opposition has slammed the announcement on the grounds that there is no sign of civic governance in these areas.

“If the BMC wants to tax slums, it must first provide residents basic amenities. Usually, the rich are taxed. The BMC is violating this principle by taxing slum residents,” said Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party group leader.

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