Cong opposes proposed property tax hike, slams BJP-ruled MCD

The opposition Congress in MCD on Tuesday strongly opposed the hike in property tax.

Updated: Jan 04, 2011, 22:17 PM IST

New Delhi: The opposition Congress in MCD on Tuesday
strongly opposed the hike in property tax proposed by the
municipal commissioner in the civic body`s budget for the next
fiscal and lambasted the BJP-led corporation for "failing" to
generate enough revenue.

Initiating the debate on the budget unveiled by
Commissioner K S Mehra on December 8, Leader of Opposition J K
Sharma said most of the proposals mentioned in last financial
year`s budget regarding parking and other projects were
repeated this time.

Sharma told a meeting of the Standing Committee that
Congress "strongly opposes" the proposed five per cent hike in
house tax which, he described as "anti-people and especially

He claimed that the across-the-board hike would lead to
greater financial burden for low-income group colonies and
less burden for high-income group ones.

The Congress leader also flayed Chairman of the Standing
Committee Yogender Chandolia, who had outrightly rejected the
proposed hike soon after the budget was unveiled at the
meeting in December.

"The Standing Committee can reject the proposals of the
Commissioner. But there is no provision under which the
Chairman can veto a proposal. The Chairman`s remarks on that
day shows his inexperience...the Commissioner must have given
the proposal after discussions with the ruling party. The
rejection looked like an afterthought," he said.

He said rather than raising tax, revenue can be increased
by properly implementing the provisions of the DMC Act. "But
this needs honest efforts for which the administration does
not seem to be ready."

The Congress leader said the MCD should identify tax
defaulters and bring more properties under tax net. "Only 30
per cent of the properties in the city are paying tax to us...
the hike seems to an attempt to hide the MCD`s failure."

He noted that the MCD has failed to reach the property
tax collection target it set for 2010-11.

Sharma also said despite making about one-fourth of its
expenditure on education, the image of MCD schools is "not
good". Even 50 years after MCD came into existence, it could
not make arrangements of power, drinking water or toilets in
all the schools, he said.

"On the health front, the Commissioner spoke of upgrading
several hospitals but he has actually cut down the allocation
under health department by 33 per cent in comparison with last
year`s budget," he rued.

Sharma also made several suggestions for increasing the
revenue and streamlining the work of the MCD.