Free sanitary napkins for students, property tax exemption for Olympic medal winners and zero user charge for collection of garbage from homes — these were some of the highlights of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s 2018-19 budget presented on Monday. The SDMC has also done away with the hike in property tax. However, it has decided to impose 1% education cess on property tax dues while mutation fee has been hiked from Rs 150 to Rs 1,500.
The civic body has also proposed renaming schools, parks and community centres after “martyrs, freedom fighters and great leaders”. The opposition, however, came down heavily on this move. Leader of the Congress, Abhishek Dutt, said educational institutions should be kept away from the politics of “naming and renaming”.
Under the property tax rebate scheme, widows of armymen and para-military personnel, and medal winners in Olympics and CommonWealth Games, will get a full exemption for one residential property on payment of tax up to June 30. Ex-servicemen will get a 30% rebate for a single property.
A senior SDMC official said 40,000 properties have been added in the tax net through several amnesty schemes proposed in 2016-17. “The corporation has also set a target of Rs 715 crore from property tax and Rs 600 crore from transfer duty in the budget,” the official said.
Leader of the house, Shikha Rai, said this year’s budget also focuses on education, with several new measures being announced such as new nursery sections in 46 more schools.
Besides education, environment is another focus area. Officials said the civic body has decided to install solar panels on SDMC buildings to generate five mega watt electricity, and set up 130 charging stations for electric vehicles.