EDMC scraps new taxes for FY21-22
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) on Wednesday scrapped all new taxes such as betterment tax, education cess and professional tax, which were proposed by the EDMC additional commissioner in the budget presentation last December for financial year 2021-22.
The civic body has, instead, decided to bring more properties under the tax ambit to boost its revenue. It has also decided to approach the Delhi government to ask for its dues of ₹2,985 crore to improve its financial situation.
The total budget projection of the East corporation for fiscal 2021-22 is ₹4,653 crore.
Presenting the final budget estimates for the financial year 2021-22, leader of the house in EDMC Pravesh Sharma said increasing tax on properties cannot be the only solution to boost revenue collection. “There will be no new tax for the people living (in neighbourhoods) under the EDMC jurisdiction. The public are already suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic, hence, we will not levy any new tax. The proposal of imposing new taxes has been scrapped,” Sharma said.
In the initial budget proposals for 2021-22, presented by EDMC additional commissioner Ramesh Verma on December 9, it was proposed to impose three new taxes — professional tax, betterment tax and education cess.
Professional tax has already been approved by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation whereby professionals such as doctors, lawyers, architects -- both salaried and self-employed -- will have to pay a tax based on different income slabs. The betterment tax was to be levied against properties, the values of which have been constantly rising because of public infrastructure development works.
The additional commissioner had also proposed an education cess of 5% on the annual property tax.
Sharma further said there are other ways to bolster revenue so instead of new taxes or hiking property tax, the civic body has decided to bring more people under its tax net. “At present, only 2.5 lakh properties in the EDMC pay taxes while the number of taxable properties is above 14 lakh. So, we will conduct a fresh survey of properties from which tax can be collected and will start special drives to improve tax collection,” Sharma said.
He also said that the municipality will mount pressure on the Delhi government to release ₹2,985 crore, due towards EDMC, so that the civic body’s financial health improves.
Sharma said that the budget also proposes to install 100 streetlights in each ward wherever there are dark spots.
Reacting to the final budget estimates, leader of opposition in the EDMC and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Manoj Tyagi said, “It is not a people friendly budget as there is no new public oriented announcement. They have also not announced new proposals to boost EDMC’s revenue. Blaming the AAP government is wrong as there are no dues for the government to clear. Instead of eying funds from the government, the BJP-ruled civic body should make efforts to increase its revenue.”