The Trinamool Congress-run Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s plans to launch tax waiver scheme for those who paint their houses white or blue, colours favoured by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, may run into rough weather with the state BJP set to move court against the move.
At a meeting of the mayor-in-council of the KMC on Monday, the civic body prepared a plan wherein citizens who painted their buildings blue and white would get a tax waiver for a year. “It is for the state government to take a final call in this regard,” Mayor Shovon Chatterjee told The Indian Express. However, no government or corporate buildings will come under the scheme, the mayor said.
The state BJP said it had consulted lawyers and might move court against the move. “It is arbitrary and against all norms. How can somebody dictate what colour you want your house to be painted in? And how can you discriminate=between citizens on painting houses when there is a question of a tax waiver. We will seek legal remedy,” Rahul Sinha, BJP state president told The Indian Express.
The CPM, too, said it would take to the streets against the move. “It is a Tughlaq-like act and we protest against this,’” Suryakanta Mishra, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, said. The KMC, however, did not have an answer on how it would make up for the loss on the waiver.
“The KMC exchequer will suffer a loss of at least Rs 200-300 crore every year. But we don’t know how it will make up for the loss,” an official of the KMC said. After TMC came to power three years ago, Mamata announced that she wanted the city to be known by its colour, just as Jaipur is known as the Pink City. As she spelt out that white and blue were her favourite colours, several government as well as private buildings and roadside railings were painted in those colours.