Cash-strapped North MCD proposes steep rise in property taxes
Amid ever-increasing volume of financial loss, the Commissioner of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has proposed the civic body for a steep hike in property tax of various categories for the next financial year. Presenting his budget proposals in the special meeting of the standing committee, the Commissioner emphasised that the executive wing was making all efforts to contain the deficit and the tax hike is the only solution. In his Rs 6,031 crore budget proposal, the commissioner earmarked over Rs 37 crore for Swachh Delhi Mission besides upgrading and strengthening the infrastructure to improve efficiency in sanitation.
Commissioner PK Gupta, while presenting the revised budget of Rs 6,031 crore, informed that the civic body is running in loss since its trifurcation in 2012. He also said that the estimated loss of 2015-16 is Rs 700 crore while in 2014-15 it was 475 crore. In 2013-14 and in 2012-13 it was figured Rs 540 and Rs 790 crore respectively.
In residential properties, the Commissioner proposed two per cent hike in A and B categories, one per cent hike in C, D and E categories. Though there is no hike proposed in special non-residential properties but several categories, which were exempted earlier, were included. “The agency is running in loss and the need of the day is to increase its revenue. Besides proposing new tax slabs, we have been working on new policies for parking and advertisement as both are major sources of income for the Corporation,” said the Commissioner.
The revised budget also emphasised over sanitation across the city. Focus was laid on integrated system of waste management including collection, transpiration, recycling and energy generation through it.
“In North MCD area, a total of 3,400 metric tonne garbage is generated daily and it is expected to touch 7,500 metric tonne by 2021. Hence, there is a need to create a proper system. For this purpose we have been planning to revive landfill sites especially the Bhalaswa site. The agency is also looking for a new five acre site for garbage disposal. From rickshaws to trucks, additional resources are being added for an efficient system. The agency has been working on new waste-to-energy plants,” Gupta said.
The Corporation is also planning to construct a multi-level parking facility in Gandhi Maidan apart from the three in Shalimar Bagh, Karol Bagh and Old Delhi railway station area. The civic agency also assured to improve health facilities in the major hospitals which fall under its jurisdiction. For the education sector, it announced several initiatives and opening of over a dozen schools by next year. The Opposition, however, rejected the hike in property taxes.
“It would burn a hole in the pocket of the citizens. The Commissioner, instead of increasing administration efficiency, took an excuse of financial crunch in the Corporation to increase the property tax rates and backstabbed the citizens with deduction in rebates. Due to lack of administrative efficiency the Corporation every year is having loss of revenue,” said Mukesh Goel, Leader of Opposition in North MCD.