New Delh: Congress on Thursday firmly opposed an increase in house tax and parking fee rates proposed by the civic body`s Commissioner in South Delhi.
Leader of the Opposition and Congress councillor Farhad Suri told a meeting of the Standing Committee BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation that the hike as "unwarranted" and "it will put additional burden on the people."
"The Commissioner for the financial year 2014-15 has proposed an income of Rs 3,335.77 crore and an expenditure of Rs 3,348.98 crore. Assessing the sources of income for the Corporation, Rs 3,335.77 crore can be easily collected without any increase in taxes or fees.
"But the Commissioner, instead of reinforcing the tax-collecting mechanism of the Corporation, has proposed a 35 per cent hike in base unit area values in all categories of properties, which I firmly oppose," Suri said.
The Congress leader said SDMC was "very rich" from its "internal sources" and if the administration can properly "exploit its income sources", then no increase of any sort would be needed in any taxe or fees.
"Crores of rupees in taxes are due from various government and semi-government bodies like Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) etc but no steps have been taken to collect those taxes," he said.
As per budget estimate for financial year 2013-14, a target of Rs 60 crore was kept in this regard but only Rs 66.76 lakh were collected till September 30 last, he added.
Suri also proposed action against tax offenders.
"South Delhi has approximately 15 lakh properties. But, only 4.25 lakh properties have been brought so far under the ambit of taxation. So, taxes are being collected from only 30 per cent properties, the rest 70 are out of its scope," he said.