New Delhi: Embassies located in the capital
may now have to pay for a slew of services they have been
enjoying free of cost till now.
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has got the
External Affairs Ministry`s nod for levying service charge on
embassies situated in areas under its jurisdiction.
The MEA said the civic body can take service charges from
embassies of countries which were collecting service charges
from Indian embassies there, an NDMC official said.
"This is an ongoing process. The Standing Committee on
Audit had directed us to approach the MEA. The MEA`s protocol
department has sent us a list of countries that take service
charges from our embassies. Based on that, we are now
computing the amount the embassies will have to pay," he said.
After computing, the list will be sent to the MEA for
approval. "The MEA will then communicate the matter to
embassies," the source said.
At present, the embassies pay electricity and water
charges but not for several other services such as road
maintenance, waste collection, street light maintenance and
anti-mosquito fogging. Under international conventions, no
property tax can be charged for embassy buildings.
The embassies may have to pay Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh a
year on an average, but the actual figure will be only known
after the computing process is completed.