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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

MC house divided over house tax

HT Correspondent  Chandigarh, January 03, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(3/1/2013) | Last Updated: 19:34 IST(4/1/2013)

Though new mayor Subhash Chawla has assured that he will not impose the house tax in his tenure, nominated councillors have assured the UT administrator that they will bring the agenda in this regard in the coming house meeting.

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Nominated councillors had gone to meet UT administrator Shivraj Patil on Wednesday.

Speaking to HT, nominated councillor MP Kohli said, "It is clear that if the MC will not impose house tax, we will not get any grant from the centre government. So, we have decided to bring the agenda in the coming house meeting. We do not want that the UT administration should directly impose the house tax on residents. We should work out a solution and impose nominal tax on the residents."

Owing to non-imposition of house tax, the city will lose Rs. 1,000-crore grant from the Centre.
Giving examples of Punjab and Haryana, the UT administrator told the nominated councillors that the house tax would be beneficial for the residents as the city did even have octroi tax. These states have implemented the house tax in order to get benefits under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Rural Mission (JNNURM).

Saying no to house tax, mayor Chawla said the MC was already getting sufficient budget and wound not need to levy any kind of taxes on its residents.

Last year, the house tax assessment committee of the MC worked on modalities and even got the data of various cities to study the pattern on which they have imposed the house tax. They were even planning to impose tax on houses of 5 marla and above on the pattern of Haryana i.e. Re 1 per square yard.

The committee had even formed a proposal regarding the housing societies and planned to impose house tax on high-income group (HIG) and middle-income group (MIG) houses.

In several communications to the MC, the UT administration had directed the former to impose house tax, failing which a huge amount of central funds for several projects will not be provided to the corporation.

The administration had added that house tax would generate more revenue for the MC departments and the latter would not have to depend on grants sanctioned by the administration.

In 2007, the MC had signed a memorandum of understanding with the union ministry of urban development under Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission and said it would impose house tax to raise funds.

City mayor Subhash Chawla said, "As far as bringing the agenda in the house meeting is concerned, every councillor has a right. I will meet Patil soon and will take up the matter with him," he said.

House tax will generate Rs. 2 cr a year

There are approximately 1.22 lakh houses in Chandigarh, ranging from one-room tenements to 8-kanal kothis. Around 50,000 dwelling units fall in the category of 5 marla and above houses. If house tax is imposed on the Haryana pattern, the municipal corporation will generate an income of Rs. 2 crore a year.

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