South Delhi Municipal Corporation drops plan to hike property tax
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation will not hike property tax and halve the funds granted to the councillors for local area development as proposed in it budget, the chairman of the civic body’s highest decision making panel said on Tuesday.
Gahlot also announced that SDMC will install ATMs and kiosks at toilet complexes managed by the civic body and launch yoga classes in its parks for minimal fee. He added that a quarter of the revenue from advertisements on the publicity of works done during the financial year.
In the budget proposals for 2021-22, presented by SDMC additional commissioner Ramesh Verma had on December 7, it was proposed to create two categories of property for the levy of tax -- instead of the existing three -- which would have meant more tax for thousands of residential neighbourhoods.
The municipal budgets are made by the commissioners and are then tabled before the standing committee for approval and then sent to the House for final nod. This would be at least 10th consecutive year when SDMC has not revised the rates of property tax -- one of the main components of its annual revenue.
During a discussion on the budget, Gahlot said increasing tax on properties cannot be the only solution to enhance revenue. “There are other ways to increase revenue, so instead of hiking property tax we have decided to bring more people under the tax net of the SDMC. To boost revenue, fixed compactor transfer stations (FCTS) of SDMC will be used as advertisement sites,” he said.
He added that to ensure maximum collection of revenue, SDMC has decided to start doorstep collection of property tax from the 2021-22 financial year.
The SDMC also proposed to organise Yoga classes in all its parks on minimal payment. “Yoga teachers will be appointed to teach students and other participants. With the move, the corporation will not only help people to stay fit but also generate revenue,” Gahlot added.
Gahlot also said that the proposal to reduce the amount of local area development (LAD) fund, given to councillors, to ₹50 lakh per ward from existing ₹1 crore per ward, will be scrapped.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader further said SDMC will charge a fine, if the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) fails to restore SDMC roads after cutting and digging for sewer and water-related works. “The corporation is also making a provision to collect restoration charges from DJB for carrying out work on municipality roads but not restoring or repairing the same,” he said.
The Delhi government or the Aam Aadmi Party did not comment on the issue despite repeated attempts.
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