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After South, cash-strapped North MCD proposes property tax hike

After South, cash-strapped North MCD proposes property tax hike
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New Delhi: With the South Delhi Municipal Corporation already having introduced a proposal to hike property taxes, a cash-strapped North MCD is set to follow in its footsteps, with plans for a 2 per cent hike in property taxes from FY 2022-23 and a reduction in rebate rates for timely tax payments.

But even as the opposition AAP vehemently protested against the hike, the North MCD, while presenting its revised estimates for the current fiscal, slashed the budget for the next financial year significantly.

In the FY 2021-22, North MCD had proposed Rs 7,727.04 crore and the revised proposed estimate is shown to be Rs 7,321.37 crore. Accordingly, the MCD has set aside a proposed expenditure budget of just Rs 5,808.24 crore for FY 2022-23. The significant drop has been blamed on the lack of funds from the Delhi government. In the FY 2021-22, the proposed income was Rs 7,728.29 crore and the revised estimate is shown to be Rs 7,330.81

crore with estimated income for FY 2022-23 projected at Rs 5811.72 crore.

The civic body has been struggling financially which has led to delays and non-payments in salaries and other aspects. And despite having had to roll back earlier hikes under pressure from the opposition and in light of the upcoming polls, North MCD commissioner Sanjay Goel justified the hike — adding that it would not be in place for this fiscal (FY21-22). He said, "Since Delhi has been passing through an economic crisis created by Covid-19, we have decided not to increase the rates of property taxes in the financial year 2021-22. However, I would like to request the Standing Committee to consider a marginal increase of 2 per cent in tax rates and reduction of rebate for premature payment from 15 per cent to 10 per cent in the next fiscal (FY22-23). "

Standing Committee Member and AAP leader Ajay Sharma said, "We will make sure that this does not get passed, they had promised zero house taxes and now look at them."

Goel claimed that the Delhi government had reduced the budget for North MCD by approximately Rs 100 crore in the previous year. And this year, they have only been given Rs 619.11 crore, which Goel said had caused duress in these times of need for the civic body. Funds for departments like general administration, DEMS, Land & Estate, Exclusive Development Expenses have been cut whereas Health, Education and Licensing saw increase in their respective budgets. Additionally, the civic body is planning to introduce 121 development schemes worth Rs 663.72 lakhs. It has also chalked out plans to develop multi-level parking in 19 locations in areas like Shastri Nagar and Karol Bagh. 333 oxygen concentrators and 190 ventilators have been arranged in North MCD hospitals.

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