Criticising the BJP-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi for proposing an increase in taxes, Leader of Opposition J. K. Sharma has said that the civic body should instead widen its property tax base to net in more people.

Mr. Sharma made the suggestion at a special meeting called on Tuesday to discuss the MCD budget.

“At present only 30 per cent of property owners are actually paying property tax. Property owners who are not paying house tax should be identified with the help of the new voters’ identity list. We can shortlist those property owners who have not paid tax and issue notices to them instead of depending on the report of the Survey of India to provide us with a list of property tax defaulters,” he added.

Mr. Sharma said during the current financial year, the civic body’s income had fallen steeply from Rs.5,843 crore to Rs.4,964 crore due to “lack of motivation and carelessness on the part of the officials”.

“Since the MCD could not achieve the desired level of property tax collection, it reduced its target from Rs.1,040 crore to Rs.900 crore in 2009-10. Also, one-third of the posts in the property tax department are lying vacant leading to under-performance,” he added.

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