MCD nod for Unit Area Method

NEW DELHI, MARCH 3. Setting in motion the process for implementation of the Unit Area Method for the assessment of house tax, the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today approved the report of the Municipal Valuation Committee.

Soon after the report was passed, the Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, said the MCD would now constitute the Hardship Committee by month-end, which would help in resolving the grievances of the property-owners who feel that the new system has badly affected them.

Mr. Mehta said the MCD would soon bring a proposal about the guidelines to categorise educational institutions and hospitals in the Capital, an issue which was left to the civic body by the Municipal Valuation Committee.

He said that a tribunal would also be set up which would take up the property-tax cases which are in litigation. "We have written to the Registrar of the Delhi High Court in this regard," he said.

Replying to queries of the Standing Committee members, Mr. Mehta said the booklet giving details of the new system was now almost ready for distribution. "We would soon launch a massive awareness campaign to make the system popular," he said.

Mr. Mehta denied that in Unit Area Method, Inspector-Raj would be replaced by Architect Raj. "Only 30 per cent of the properties in Delhi would be assessed by an architect as over 70 per cent of the properties are of less than 100 sq. m.," he said. "As many as 95 per cent of the people of the Capital would benefit by the new system. It is a complete transparent and people-friendly system," he said.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Standing Committee, Vijender Kumar, who staged a walkout on the issue, alleged that the system was full of loopholes and was anti-people in nature. "Taxes of majority of the people would go up several times," he said.

The Congress Councillor from Malviya Nagar and his colleague from Shakurpur, Roshan Lal Ahuja, complained that there was confusion among the people over categorisation of colonies in the Capital. They urged the Commissioner to remove this confusion before, implementing the new system.

Earlier, the Standing Committee passed a resolution proposed by Mr. Ahuja condemning the alleged statement of the Union Labour Minister, Sahib Singh Verma, urging people not to pay their house tax in the new system. "This is unconstitutional," Mr. Ahuja said. Mr. Kumar, the only BJP member in the Committee, opposed the resolution.