MCD elections: AAP asks BJP, Cong to clarify position on house tax waiver
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday that once AAP wins the municipal elections, it will do away with the property tax, besides clearing all dues, making Delhi the first city in the country that does not levy house tax.MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 28, 2017 11:29 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday demanded the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress to clarify whether they agree or not, in-principle, with AAP’s announcement to waive off property tax for residential properties.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday that once AAP wins the municipal elections, it will do away with the property tax, besides clearing all dues, making Delhi the first city in the country that does not levy house tax.
The announcement invoked criticism from the opposition parties, who questioned the move on various points, including legal hurdles.
“Give a binary answer. Say yes or no. Are BJP and Congress with the announcement of Arvind Kejriwal or not? We will discuss the technicalities involved later,” AAP (Delhi), convener, Dilip Pandey said at a press conference. He said any in-principle disagreement will be interpreted as an admission that the BJP and Congress leaders “benefit out of the brokers’ network” running in the MCDs in name of house tax.
Releasing purported copies of the letters Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to the MCDs over the past two years, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari had hit out at the AAP dispensation on Monday saying the Kejriwal government has been advising to increase tax base by bringing in more households under tax net, but is announcing “freebies” ahead of the civic polls.
On the issue of confusion whether the move would require an amendment in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 and a ratification from the Parliament, Dilip Pandey said the MCDs are well within their rights to provide exemptions.
“Section 117 of the DMC Act describes the general power of exemption. Several times in the past rates were revised. Most recently, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation had come up with a policy to exempt several heritage properties in Chandni Chowk area from property tax,” Pandey said. He also said that all such assertions were a “lie” being spread by the opposition.