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Tax hike proposals rejected

AS WAS expected, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation Council today rejected all the proposals of tax hike including the increase in water tax to Rs 160 from present Rs 60. However, the proposals of developmental works under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) were accepted.
None | By HT Correspondent, Bhopal
PUBLISHED ON JUL 28, 2006 01:03 AM IST

AS WAS expected, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation Council today rejected all the proposals of tax hike including the increase in water tax to Rs 160 from present Rs 60. However, the proposals of developmental works under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) were accepted.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators, who held the majority in the BMC council with 40-members, opposed the proposals related to hike in the taxes. The BMC administration had proposed the hike in water tax to Rs 160 per month. It had also proposed a new tax of Rs 30 per household for the maintenance of sewerage system. This tax was proposed at Rs 60 per household for the non-residential houses.

The BJP corporators alleged that the mayor-in-council (MiC) should take its stand on this issue. They said that the MiC only forwarded this proposal to the BMC Council without any recommendation. It should be clarified whether the MiC was agreed on it or not, they asked.

Mayor Sunil Sood, however, pleaded that the hike was needed as the cost on water supply had gone up while many other developmental works were in progress under various

mbitious schemes. In this situation, the deficit in the water tax should be recovered. The BMC was already running water supply in huge deficit, he added.

Sood also pointed out that BJP-led municipal council and the mayor in Indore had already proposed hike in different taxes. But the BJP corporators said that there should be no hike in the water tax, as the BMC was not able to provide clean water to the City. Besides, the citizens were not getting sufficient water. They said that in this situation, the proposal on hike should be rejected.

BMC chairman Ramdayal Prajapati declared the proposal cancelled and told the MiC to take a clear stand on the issue. Alok Sanjar, Pappu Vilas, Malati Rai, Rameshwar Dixit, Salim Ahmed and other corporators took part in the discussion.

Similarly, the proposal to impose parking fee at the rate of Rs 20 for two-wheelers and Rs 40 for four-wheelers in MP Nagar was also withdrawn. Local corporator Vandana Jachak and Lily Agrawal said that the parking fee should be uniform all over the City.

These rates were not viable, they added. The proposal to increase the rate of integrated tax was also cancelled. The BMC administration had proposed the imposition of integrated tax at the rate of 30 per cent of property tax. At present, this rate was 10 per cent of property tax. On the demand of BJP corporators, the BMC chairman also rejected this proposal.

However, the proposals on slum rehabilitation worth Rs 31.50 crore were approved by the BMC Council. The rehabilitation of slums at Shyam Nagar, Sabri Nagar, Kalpana Nagar and Roshanpura would be carried out under this scheme of JNNURM. BJP corporator Kewal Mishra demanded to include a slum in his ward under this scheme.

Similarly, the BMC Council decided that Narmada Water Supply Scheme would be funded under the JNNURM. The proposal on development of Kabadkhana with an expenditure of Rs 6.55 crore was also approved. The proposal regarding the hike of ration card fee to Rs 20 per card was also approved.

Meeting highlights
1 Inclusion of Narmada Water Supply Scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

2 Rejection of water tax hike proposal

3 Approval of slum rehabilitation schemes worth Rs 31.50 crore

4 Approval of Kabadkhana development plan worth Rs 6.55 crore

5 Proposal to purchase a 110-feet high hydraulic platform

6 Approval to hand over Aish Bagh Stadium to Director, Sports and Youth Welfare

7 Allotment of plots at Transport Nagar on first come, first served basis.

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