Accusing the state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa of misleading the people of Punjab regarding the imposition of property tax,the SAD on Wednesday sought an immediate and unconditional apology from him.
To expose Bajwas lies the ruling party released documentary evidence on the issue. Quoting guidelines,the SAD secretary and spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema disclosed that Centre has made it mandatory for the states to impose property tax.
The SAD spokesman said that in the JNNURM scheme,the Centre has espoused six mandatory conditions to be fulfilled by the urban local bodies (ULBs). Condition number III reads Reform of property tax with GIS,and arrangements for its effective implementation so as to raise collection efficiency to 85 per cent.
Cheema further disclosed that the Centre has also issued guidelines for the release and utilisation of grants recommended by the Thirteenth Finance Commission. Under these guidelines,condition number 6.4.8 reads All local bodies must be fully enabled to levy property tax (including tax for all types of residential and commercial properties.. In addition to this the union government has also made it mandatory for the states to constitute a property tax board at the state level. Condition 6.4.9 reads State governments must put in place a state level property tax board..
Urging Bajwa to read these guidelines before speaking on the issue,Cheema pointed out that it was these guidelines that have forced all state governments to levy property tax in their respective states.
If Bajwa is so concerned with the problems of the people,he should go to Delhi and request the Prime Minister to amend these guidelines,Cheema said.
Meanwhile,Bajwa said the governments decision to form a committee to look into property tax was a victory for the Congress.
The formula for calculating property tax was arbitrary and shrouded in mystery. What facilities are they providing to urban voters that they are extracting such hefty taxes? The urban voter is angry and we raised our voice and forced the government to reconsider it, he added.
On Congress boycotting the December Assembly session when property tax was levied,Bajwa said it was perhaps all a part of a conspiracy (Majithia hurling abuses at Congress MLA Rana Gurjit) to avoid a debate on it.