Toll tax to be privatised

NEW DELHI NOV. 13. The Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today paved the way for privatisation of toll tax in the Capital from next year.

At its meeting held at Town Hall, the Standing Committee unanimously approved the proposal in this regard incorporating all the recommendation of the sub-committee headed by the senior BJP Councillor, Vijender Kumar.

Toll tax privatisation is likely to generate revenue of at least Rs. 65 crores per annum to the MCD without any expenditure being incurred by the civic body. Though the proposal was placed before the Standing Committee by the Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, a few months ago, a decision on the issue was delayed because of the large number of lacunae pointed out by Mr. Kumar. However, all other members had supported it. Subsequently, the Standing Committee Chairman and Leader of House, Ram Babu Sharma, constituted a sub-committee headed by Mr. Kumar. Giving details of the privatisation proposal, Mr. Kumar said toll tax barriers of the Capital would be handed over to only one contractor for one year. The rates of toll tax and monthly passes for various types of vehicles would be decided by the MCD. "It is a full proof mechanism,'' he said.

After the abolition of the Delhi Terminal Tax in 1993, toll tax was introduced in the Capital from January 21, 2001, by civic body to augment its revenue collection by Rs. 100 crores every year. However, toll tax collections could not touch this figure any time, because of large-scale corruption in the MCD's Toll Tax Department. Of late, it has started showing a downward trend. After consulting the Additional Solicitor General of the country, the civic body decided that collection of toll tax should be privatised.

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