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MCD elections: Delhi Cong promises house tax rebate for waste-free societies, malls

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday had announced abolishing residential house tax in the Capital if his party is voted to power in the April 23 civic polls. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said freebies won’t work. He said his party will incentivise sanitation measures.

MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Mar 27, 2017 01:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
MCD polls,MCD elections,Delhi MCD election date
Congress MP and party’s Delhi incharge PC Chacko, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken and former union environment minister Jairam Ramesh released a draft roadmap on sanitation in Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The Congress on Sunday declared property tax rebate and other incentives for domestic and commercial establishments, as part of its solid waste management roadmap which will aim to make Delhi the “cleanest and most beautiful” city in the world.

“We will keep Delhi clean and disease free. The best of brains in the Congress party are helping us in making these roadmaps. With real solutions and incentives, not fake promises. It is easy to say that we will make things free. We won’t do that,” Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ajay Maken said taking a dig at Arvind Kejriwal’s promise of abolishing house tax.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday had announced abolishing residential house tax in the Capital if his party is voted to power in the April 23 civic polls. Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party has worked out the mathematics and the money saved from corruption would be used to cover the shortfall after scrapping the house tax.

“What Kejriwal has said is for residential units. We are talking about commercial ones, too. The (AAP) announcement is ridiculous and unrealistic. Over 70% area in Delhi doesn’t have property tax anyway. The collection rate is 30%. We are offering solutions. We are saying toll tax, outdoor advertisement and parking we can earn more. If we licence rehriwallas, we can earn more revenue,” Maken said.

According to the plan, group housing societies, hospitals and malls with zero waste discharge, will be given incentives and concessions in property tax.

“Selective units, which are able to augment infrastructure, parking and public facilities will be given extra floor area ratio (FAR). Domestic units will also get incentives. Every ward will be divided in four sub zones, which will be scored by an independent agency on solid waste management. Based on this, tax rebate and incentives will be given,” he said.

The civic bodies, according to the roadmap, will also identify spaces, allocate fund and help resident welfare associations and NGOs to set up and run “local compost machines”. Free garbage bins, one green and one blue, will be distributed across all homes to encourage and ensure segregation at source, which will help in making “landfill free”.

Municipal elections in Delhi are due on April 23 and the usually city-centric exercise is witnessing the first-ever six-party contest with bitter fights expected in each of the 272 wards. The BJP holds all three municipal corporations in the city.

According to Maken, the party’s top priority after winning the MCD polls will be payment of dues, including Rs 1,563 crore arrear to sanitation workers, and regularisation of temporary staff.

Senior party leader and former Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who helped formulate the roadmap, said, “This will remain a mere dream if the three municipal corporations do not become financially self-sufficient in two years.”

“The Swachh Bharat Mission by the Modi government is nothing but Nirmal Bharat scheme launched by the Congress-led UPA government in 2011 which aimed at making the country open defecation free. When the BJP came to power in 2014, three states, Sikkim, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh, were already set to become open defecation free in a matter of months. The Modi government claimed it to be a success of Swachh Bharat Mission,” Ramesh said.

Taking jibes at both the BJP and the AAP, he said over 60,000 sanitation workers in Delhi were not paid salaries on time even as the ruling BJP at the Centre is promoting ‘Swachh Bharat’ and Delhi is ruled by the AAP, the symbol of which is a broom”.

After this, on March 29, the party plans to reveal its roadmap on primary education and health, which has been prepared along with senior leaders Shashi Tharoor and Salman Khurshid.

First Published: Mar 26, 2017 21:13 IST