March 26, 2017 5:53:36 pm
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Sunday that the “inspector raj” prevailing in the BJP-ruled civic bodies will end with the abolition of house tax, a promise made by his AAP ahead of the municipal polls.
Hailing the announcement made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, Sisodia said that BJP and the Congress should not worry as common man is happy with the promise of abolition of house tax which, he alleged, has become a source of widespread corruption for councillors and officers.
“We have seen reactions of the BJP and the Congress. Both parties should not worry about the promise made by the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party). Common man is happy with the announcement. Like we halved electricity bills and gave free water to 12.5 lakh people, we will also abolish house tax,” he said in a press conference.
Terming the BJP as “Bhartiya Jumla Party”, Sisodia said it has turned into a party which turns away from its promises and alleged that the saffron party which ruled the MCDs for 10 years is worried because a racket of property tax and “inspector raj” will be finished.
“They are worried because abolishing of house taxes will mean finishing of middlemen and corruption in the civic bodies. The house tax has given rise to inspector raj system in corporations which will be finished if AAP comes to power,” he said.
Giving an example, Sisodia said at present if a property tax dues is Rs 10,000 of a person then a broker in a racket will take Rs 2,000 and tries to settle the dues. “Both the BJP and the Congress gave similar reactions when we said that electricity bills will be halved and free water will be given. We successfully did it when we came to power and now we will abolish the house tax once we come to power in MCDs,” he said.
He reacted sharply to the comment by opposition leaders that for abolishing house tax, the Delhi Municipal Act has to be amended by Parliament.
“For abolishing house tax in Delhi we do not need to go to Parliament. It was before 1993 that amendments were made to the Act by Parliament but after that the amendments in the act and even the last one in 2011 were made without going to the parliament,” he said, adding that rumours are being spread to mislead people.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that his party had studied and analysed the impact before the announcement was made by the Chief Minister and that the party would ensure that electricity tariffs are not hiked and water and medicines are provided free of cost at government hospitals.
Sisodia said lots of good things have happened during the two-year rule of the AAP in Delhi and common man is now happy that they are getting free medicines in government hospitals and parents of children are applauding us for no fee hike made in private schools.
On Saturday, in a major poll promise, Kejriwal had announced that house tax will be abolished and pending dues will be waived if the Aam Aadmi Party emerges victorious in the municipal elections.
Kejriwal called the current house tax structure as “draconian”, and alleged that it has become a source of widespread corruption for municipal councillors and officers in all three civic bodies where BJP is in power for the last 10 years.
There are an estimated nine lakh property tax payers in the city and about Rs 600 crore in revenue is earned annually by the three civic bodies, according to official sources. Civic polls are to be held on April 23 and are seen as a crucial test of AAP’s popularity in the city fter its “disappointing” performance in Punjab and Goa Assembly polls.
With zero house tax poll promise, it is clear that the Aam Aadmi Party, which had a stunning victory in Delhi in 2015, is again banking on populist measures to woo voters.
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