Ahead of elections this year, the three corporations of Delhi — East, North and South — have announced amnesty schemes under which property owners in the city will not have to pay interest and penalty if they clear pending dues.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor Adesh Gupta said the scheme will cover defaulters who have not filed property tax since April 2004. The East and South have also announced the same.
East mayor Bipin Bihari Singh said the scheme was launched to widen the property tax base as most areas of the corporation are “unauthorised” and “unauthorised regularised” colonies where people do not pay property taxes. Officials say that 90% of people living in unauthorised colonies do not pay taxes.
In the South civic body, a resolution in this regard was moved by standing committee chairperson Shikha Rai.
Officials, however, feel this sends a wrong message to those who pay taxes regularly.
“We do not get many people from unauthorised colonies to pay taxes even after giving such schemes. The corporation should rather focus on building a database of all households and their dues. They should issue notices and follow up regularly,” said an official.
The South MCD is also planning to launch an amnesty scheme under which people will have to pay tax for only the period since the property was purchased. As per the proposal, people will be allowed to file a self-declaration and attach a proof of the date on which they purchased the property, following which the civic body will waive the remaining tax.