The executive committee of the Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) on Sunday held its meeting, wherein it said that imposing taxes on city residents was unjustified. The meeting was held at the community centre in Sector 8, under the chairmanship of Baljinder Singh Bittu. Members from various federating associations participated in the meeting.
Bittu denounced the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh and said, “The proposed increase in power and water tariff in addition to increase in house tax, parking fee, driving license fee are becoming unbearable to the middle class in the city, which is already overburdened with taxes.”
He lamented the anti-people policies of the Municipal Corporation. “It seems that the whole government system is focusing on extracting more and more from the people — be it central, state, municipal or other taxes,” he added.
The members further said the deteriorating law and order in Chandigarh is a matter of concern as the Chandigarh Police had failed in controlling snatchings, thefts and other crimes. The crime prevention system has collapsed. Traffic control and regulation is very poor, as the traffic police are busy in issuing challans to earn more revenue for the department.
The vice-chairman, Hitesh Puri, raised the issue of restoration of the post of chief commissioner in Chandigarh as the same was suspended due to turbulence in Punjab in 1984. Since normalcy returned to Punjab a long time ago and the said ‘disturbed area notification’ lost its effectiveness, the post of chief commissioner should be restored at the earliest, he said.
He informed the house that the FOSWAC will take up the matter with the Home Ministry, Government of India. He also shared the feeling of the masses against the imposition of transaction tax by the banks on their money, which they had earned by paying taxes to the government.
It was discussed that FOSWAC has already filed objections against the likely increase of 22 per cent electricity tariff before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission. The electricity consumers are already paying for the inefficiency and mismanagement of the Chandigarh electricity department. There are Rs 36 crores in doubtful debts. Their electricity losses are the highest, which include thousands of Kundi connections and thefts. Several projects are incomplete and remain non-energised even after eight years.