East Delhi residents may have to cough up more as taxes

Residents of East Delhi may face additional burden of taxes as the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has been mulling to impose new taxes — Education Cess, Betterment tax and Professional tax and hike in property taxes in its area. The Corporation Commissioner, while tabling the Revised Budget Estimates for year 2015-16, said that introduction of new taxes is necessary as the fiscal deficit for year 2016-17 is expected to touch Rs 2,196 crore. The Corporation Commissioner, who presented the Budget proposals on Tuesday, also claimed to have allocated a huge proportion of money for “Swachh Delhi Abhiyan”, civic infrastructure along with a slew of other projects.

Commissioner Amit Yadav, while presenting a budget of Rs 3,452 crore, informed that since the trifurcation to the current financial year the EDMC has incurred loss of nearly Rs 2,300 crore out of which Rs 1,525 crore is to be paid to the Corporation staff, contractors and others as salaries, pensions apart from other payments which are due. With implementation of the three taxes the Corporation is expecting an additional revenue of Rs 300 crore and with the hike of property taxes in various slabs it is expected to add Rs 30 to 40 crore more.

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 hour is to increase its revenue. Besides proposing new taxes and new slabs, we have been working on new policies for parking and advertisement as both are major source of income for the Corporation. To overcome the situation we need bailout a package of Rs 600 crore every year till year 2020-21 so we could work on the five-year agenda,” said the Commissioner. He said that the estimated loss of year 2016-17 is Rs 2,196 crore while in 2015-16 it was Rs 1,911 core. In 2014-15 and in 2013-14 it was figured at Rs 306 and Rs 205 crore respectively.

Revised Budget Estimates also emphasised over sanitation across the city. Focus was laid over integrated system of waste management including collection, transpiration, recycling and energy generation through it. The civic agency also assured to improve health facilities in major hospitals that fall in its jurisdiction. For the education sector, it announced several initiatives and opening of over a dozen of schools by next year. “Apart from EDMC’s allocation, an additional Rs 25 crore, received from centre for “Swachh Delhi Abhiyan” will be spent on sanitation activities,” he said. 
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