Former Union Minister and BJP national general secretary Vijay Goel on Tuesday led a delegation of representatives of 360 villages and met Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra to demand abolition of property tax in rural areas of Delhi.
The delegation also handed over a memorandum to Mr. Mehra seeking an amendment in the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act for making this change.
Mr. Goel demanded that MCD should immediately stop sending notices in villages and unauthorised colonies for the recovery of property tax because this was leading to large scale corruption. “Money is being recovered in arbitrary way under threats of these notices whereas MCD is not getting a single rupee,’’ he claimed.
The BJP leader, who had earlier issued a statement making these very demands, reasoned that since agricultural income was exempted from income tax and the villages don’t even have proper civic amenities so, it was unthinkable to levy property tax in the villages. ``The fact is that no tax was recovered from the original residents of the rural areas before 2004,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mr. Goel said no house tax should be recovered from unauthorised colonies till they are regularised and basic facilities such as proper roads, drinking water, drainage, electricity, community hall and schools are provided in them. ``When MCD is not spending a single rupee on unauthorised colonies, then it has no right to recover tax from there.’’
He said when MCD issues advertisement for recovery of property tax, people think the Corporation is putting burden on them. ``When officers and elected councillors are approached in this regard, they say that they are helpless under the provisions of the Act. When no property tax is being recovered for the last so many years, then why now? So this tax should be withdrawn,’’ he reasoned.
The BJP leader said it was also strange that for houses constructed between the periods 2008-2010 in unauthorised colonies, the owners are being asked to pay the tax from 2004.
Mr. Goel said he has spoken to the Chairman of the Standing Committee of MCD and requested him that a meeting of the House may be convened and a resolution be passed again so that no property tax is recovered from villages and unauthorized colonies.
“The resolution in this regard should then be sent to Delhi Government and Central Government so that people can understand clearly that this tax is being recovered under the orders of these two Governments,’’ he said.