TWO DAYS after the Aam Aadmi Party announced their poll sop of doing away with residential house tax imposed by the municipal corporations, the Delhi BJP said the AAP government’s urban development department had written to the corporations last year asking them to increase their house tax net.
Targeting the ruling AAP for making the promise, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari called Kejriwal a “liar who was duping people”. He also produced a copy of letters written by the urban development department, asking the corporations to increase the tax net.
In its order dated February 4, 2016, the government wrote to the corporations “to increase revenue through improved property tax coverage, bring in left-out properties under property tax net and increase revenue from advertisement, parking and remunerative projects”.
A large part of the corporations’ revenue is from house tax. While this is 26 per cent for the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, it is 11 per cent for both the North and East corporations.
The issue had been raised by former Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay as well. AAP’s announcement that it will do away with house tax has ruffled many feathers. While the BJP claims that AAP needs the approval of the Parliament to abolish the tax, AAP says corporations have the power to take such a decision. Within the BJP too, people are divided on the party’s stand on the issue.