Hailing the announcement made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about abolishing house tax, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said on Sunday that the AAP has “fulfilled all of its promises” in the past two years. Sisodia said the party had done a “full study of the finances of the MCDs, and the process of making amendments in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957, before making the promise”.
“So far, the MCDs have made fraudulent pendencies on residents with regards to house tax, and residents face a lot of harassment due to its complicated process of assessment. The energy wasted in the process of collecting this house tax is not, in any way, commensurate to the amount collected. We are amazed at the reaction of the Opposition after CM Kejriwal promised to abolish house tax. The Congress has ruled the MCDs in the past, and the BJP is currently in power, both seem to be shamefully unaware of the law, and also seem oblivious to the difficulties faced by Delhi residents,” Sisodia said in response to charges by the Opposition that abolishing the tax was beyond the municipal corporation’s jurisdiction.
“Before the Assembly elections, when AAP promised to reduce electricity rates to half, both these parties had similar reactions… they said it was impossible to do so, but we did it. When we had promised free water, BJP and Congress had said that this will make the Jal Board bankrupt. However the Jal Board made an additional revenue of Rs 178 crore after the scheme. They reacted in the same way to our promises of improving government schools, regulating private school fees, regulating admission processes, ensuring hospitals work better. In the last two years, the AAP has proven that we fulfil all our promises,” Sisodia said.
“Residents are happy with the announcement as they realise the racket involved in house tax collection. The reason BJP and Congress politicians are so unhappy is that they are directly or indirectly connected to a web of agents who extort money in the name of getting house tax bills settled,” Sisodia said.
Meanwhile, Swaraj India, led by Yogendra Yadav, said Saturday that Kejriwal’s promise of abolishing house tax was a “desperate and cynical move by a politician who can see the end of road”.
“If the AAP thinks that the MCDs can be run without taxes, why don’t they announce that the state government will give grant to each MCD equal to house tax revenue foregone. Why make it conditional on AAP winning elections,” a press statement issued by the party said.