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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Punjab mulls exempting property tax on houses up to 125 sq yd

PTI  Chandigarh, June 09, 2014
First Published: 19:10 IST(9/6/2014) | Last Updated: 19:11 IST(9/6/2014)

Amid growing voices againstproperty tax, the Punjab government has proposed to exempt residents having houses with an area of up to 125 square yards from paying the levy and delink tax payment from collector rates.
               
Besides, the government has also proposed to keep vacant plots out of the ambit of property tax which will be implemented during 2014-15.
               
"We have decided to exempt people living in houses of up to 5 marlas (125 square yards) from payment of property tax which will be a big relief for them," Punjab Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi said today.
               
Further, vacant plots will not attract any property tax, he said, adding that it will also not be imposed on areas that are declared slums.
               
In a major property tax rationalisation and simplification exercise, the state government has also plans to delink property tax payment from collector rates after residents and industry complained of huge amount to tax payout because of collector rates.
              
 "We will delink collector rates from property tax payment. A new method will be rolled out wherein a rate as per square feet will be announced to calculate property tax both for residential and commercial properties," Joshi said.
               
"The new proposal of property tax will be sent soon to Punjab Cabinet for its approval," he said.
               
As property tax being considered as one of the reasons behind harming the electoral prospects of SAD-BJP candidates in recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Punjab government announced to "tweak with" the property tax system.
               
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced to review the property tax system "in the larger interest of public" while Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had said property tax would not be charged as per collector rates.
               
The state government had imposed property tax last year with effect from April 1, 2013, following which the people had to pay levy on commercial and residential properties, including vacant plots.
               
SAD-BJP regime in Punjab had been maintaining that it had to impose property tax as Centre under Congress led UPA had withheld grants sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
               
Notably, Punjab Congress had asked the SAD-BJP alliance to abolish the property tax in the state with immediate effect with NDA government going to take rein at the Centre.

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