The Bengal Assembly on Wednesday passed the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (Amendment) Bill.
New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) will impose property tax in the line of other urban local bodies in New Town.
Tabling the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (Amendment) Act 2016, state Urban development minister Firhad Hakim said the property tax would be calculated on the basis of Unit Area Assessment system.
The property owners will be able to calculate tax of their property and pay the tax.
The tax will be calculated on the facilities they are getting like the width of the road on which the property is situated, its proximity to the bus stop, market, school etc. It will save the owners from the harassment of property tax inspectors, many of whom often increase the annual valuation of property if the owners refuse to pay them bribe.
Hakim said though New Town was started by the Left Front, Trinamool Congress government has given life to it. The Eco Park has become the new tourist destination with lakhs of people visiting it.
There are Nazrul and Rabindra Tirtha where cultural programmes are regularly held. The senior citizen’s park gives senior citizens opportunity to come together and exchange their view and spend some time at the park. There is Wi-Fi facility in New Town along with recreational facilities.
“On the basis of the facilities offered to the residents we thought that property tax should be levied to maintain the facilities,” he said.
Ashok Bhattacharya, former Urban development minister and currently Mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation said imposition of tax by a development authority was unconstitutional as taxes could only be imposed by civic authorities.
Hakim said the President’s assent to treat this as a Special Act was taken by the erstwhile Left Front government in 2007.
“Left Front government had taken up the matter and tabled Bill number 35 in the Assembly. But because of Singur and other issue it did not follow it up. We also did not pursue the matter as we wanted to develop New Town first and then impose property tax,” he maintained.