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Chandigarh administration imposes property tax in 13 villages merged with municipal corporation last year

The notification in this regard was issued on Friday, giving administrative power to the civic body to impose tax from the next assessment year
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Vivek Gupta
UPDATED ON DEC 17, 2019 12:22 AM IST

Chandigarh The UT administration has imposed property tax on commercial and institutional properties in 13 villages that merged with the municipal corporation last year.

The villages are Raipur Khurd, Behlana, Makhan Majra, Raipur Kalan, Mauli Jagran, Daria, Kaimbwala, Kishangarh, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Jassu, Dhanas and Sarangpur.

The notification in this regard was issued on Friday, giving administrative power to the civic body to impose tax from the next assessment year. According to the MC survey, these 13 villages have approximately 5,000 buildings that are liable to pay tax. The MC eyes an increase in property tax collection by 8-10 crore per annum.

According to the notification, all villages have been kept under Group 4 (Zone C) of the MC’s tax self assessment scheme, which means that they will be charged 6.6 per square feet as property tax on the total covered areas of their properties.

The entire city is divided into four zones for the purpose of property tax assessment and collection.

MC HOUSE HAD REJECTED PROPOSAL

A proposal to impose property tax in these villages was first tabled in the MC General House meeting in July this year. However, councillors had argued that these villages were just taken over by the corporation, and it was early to tax them, as appropriate facilities had not been provided to them. They also termed the move a burden on villagers.

While issuing the notification, the UT administration argued that it was necessary for the MC to raise its internal resources due to its poor financial condition. Hence, the administrator “in exercise of the power conferred under subsection 5 of Section 19 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1994, as extended to the UT, ordered the notification of the tax in these 13 villages from next fiscal (starting April 1)”, reads the three-page notification.

Even MC commissioner KK Yadav was in favour of the tax. When the MC House rejected the proposal, Yadav had even registered his dissent note, stating that property tax needed to be imposed to allow the MC to take care of their civic needs.

Later, the MC tax branch also sent a letter to the UT local bodies department, saying that even though the councillors did not let the proposal pass in the July House meeting, it was vital to levy tax to ensure development of these newly merged villages.

CONGRESS FLAYS MOVE, MAYOR COUNTERS

Meanwhile, Congress leader of opposition Devinder Singh Babla flayed the move, saying that first the “BJP-led administration” disbanded Panchayati Raj system by merging these villages into the MC against wishes of the people, and now people have been burdened with civic taxes.

Accusing the Congress of “playing politics”, mayor Rajesh Kalia said: “Tax is restricted only on commercial properties. The money collected will be used for betterment of these villages. We have already formed special committees to carry out development works in these 13 villages. The UT is likely to release a special grant for villages too.”

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