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Monday, January 17, 2022

Mumbai: Uddhav govt waives property tax on residential units up to 500 sq ft

🔴 Virtually sounding the poll bugle for the BMC election with his announcement, Thackeray said that the Shiv Sena always fulfils the promises made to the people.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: January 2, 2022 7:28:07 am
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (Express photo by Pradip Das)

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Saturday announced the government’s decision to waive property tax on residential units measuring up to 500 sq ft in Mumbai. The decision, being termed as a “new year gift” to the people of Mumbai, was the fulfilment of a promise that the Shiv Sena had made before the Mumbai civic body election in 2017.

Virtually sounding the poll bugle for the BMC election with his announcement, Thackeray said that the Shiv Sena always fulfils the promises made to the people.

“Shiv Sena has fulfilled many of its promises made in 2017. For Mumbaikars, we had promised to waive off the property tax up to 500 sq ft. Today we are fulfilling that important promise,” said Thackeray while announcing the decision via a virtual meeting on Saturday. He further instructed the state administration to ensure immediate implementation of the same.

BMC Commissioner I S Chahal, during the meeting, said there were 16,14,000 residential properties below 500 sq ft in Mumbai and that the BMC would incur an annual loss of revenue of Rs 462 crore due to the move. Also, amends are required to be made to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888; The Maharashtra Education and Employment Guarantee (Cess) Act, 1962 and The Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, he added.

“The proposal will be placed before the state cabinet to make appropriate amendments to the law. Then, an ordinance will be issued accordingly. It (the decision) will come into effect from April 1, 2022, for the financial year 2022-23,” said Mahesh Pathak, Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department.

Following the 2017 elections, the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC had waived off only the general tax component of the property tax in 2019, which directed a lot of criticism towards the party.

The property tax comprises eight components, including general tax, water tax, sewerage tax, education cess, tree cess and water benefit tax, among others. The general tax constitutes around 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the total amount. The issue was also raised by the opposition seeking a complete waiver in the winter session of the state legislature.

Further saying that the people of Mumbai were not just taxpayers, Thackeray, in his first public appearance almost two months after he underwent a spine surgery, said, “ A Mumbaikar makes valuable contributions to the development of the state. But the real question is what he gets back. We must not forget that Mumbai has been built out of the sweat of toilers. And that is why Shiv Sena has not only given manifestos for Mumbaikars but also made promises…promises of things that can be done.”

He further claimed that those who make tall claims ahead of the polls go quiet later on for five years. “We don’t do this at all. Now we have the Congress and the NCP with us,” added Thackeray.

Eknath Shinde, Urban Development Minister, termed the move as “revolutionary” and a “new year gift” to the people of Mumbai. “This is a revolutionary move. No one has dared to take such a decision, not just in the state but in the country,” said Shinde. He further praised Uddhav-led Maharashtra government’s effort in tackling the pandemic in the last two years.

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