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AAP criticises BJP-ruled civic bodies for hiking taxes, corruption

PUBLISHED ON AUG 18, 2020 10:47 PM IST

New Delhi: Alleging corruption in the BJP-ruled municipal corporation in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said the civic bodies have cheated the people by introducing new taxes and increasing others.

Both the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the North Delhi civic body had hiked property tax on rented commercial property. The SDMC had also introduced professional tax but its north Delhi counterpart postponed the proposal to charge the new tax.

“Corruption is a major issue in MCDs. The BJP had promised ahead of 2017 municipal polls that they would do away with corruption in the civic bodies. But things have only gotten worse now. The BJP had also promised that the MCDs would not introduce or increase taxes. They have cheated people of Delhi on that front too,” said Durgesh Pathak, AAP’s in charge of municipal affairs.

He further said, “The BJP ruled North MCD is all set to introduce professional tax, 34% increase in house tax, increase in property transfer tax and the tax element on electricity consumption from tomorrow (Wednesday)… We demand that the Delhi BJP should immediately roll back the proposals of a tax hike. The AAP will organise a demonstration at the Civic Center tomorrow (which has the head office of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation) from 1 pm, where the standing council meeting on the tax issue will take place.”

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, however, said that while proposals have been placed in the corporations for an increase in four different taxes, the party has asked its leadership in corporations to ensure that no additional financial burden is put on the people of Delhi.

“These are proposals and have not been approved as of now. There will be no increase in taxes, except the one in property transactions. The corporations are facing a huge financial crisis and have a limited source of revenue. The AAP-led Delhi government is no releasing funds to the civic bodies. The civic bodies will have to take measures to boost revenue,” Gupta.

He hit back at AAP for politicising the issue and said, “They are accusing us of putting the financial burden on people whereas it is the AAP government which has not waived off the fixed charges from electricity bills despite requests from people. They can’t give relief to people for even two months.”

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