A lmost eight years after assuring the Centre to tax all slum properties in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally initiated the process of levying property tax on slum properties.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jalota told The Indian Express that the civic body had roped in a private agency for a pilot project to map slum properties.
“The model to levy tax will be evolved following the mapping exercise,” Jalota said.
As part of reforms to be undertaken under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the BMC had committed to the Centre in 2006 that it would bring all protected slum properties under the tax bracket from April 2007 onwards.
But Jalota admitted that less than five per cent of the such slum structures had been assessed so far.
Over 60 per cent of Mumbaikars reside in slums, according to official estimates. The unassessed slum properties were again excluded from the net when the BMC switched over from rateable value of taxation to the capital value in April 2010. Political pressure was blamed for the cop-out at that time.
But now with the taxes under the newly adopted regime set to be revised again from April 2015 onwards, the civic body has decided to initiate the exercise to tax slum properties.
Jalota, however, refused to assign a deadline for the exercise.
Maharashtra’s neighbour Gujarat has already evolved a regime of levying property tax on slum properties.
The BMC has roped in non-governmental organisation SPARC for assistance in collating the data regarding slum properties. A source said the BMC mop up an additional revenue of over Rs 500 crore if all slum properties are taxed.