AAP alleges property-tax scam by NDMC, BJP hits back

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party claimed on Monday that the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation had misappropriated funds to the tune Rs 1,400 crore in the collection of property tax.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the Delhi High Court on Monday reprimanded the Delhi government for not releasing MCDs' funds and claimed that Atishi's statement alleging property tax scam is an effort to cover up the damage caused by the reprimand.

'Today's reprimand by the high court has totally exposed the AAP government before the people of Delhi. It will be better for the Aam Aadmi Party and the Kejriwal government to immediately release all pending funds of MCDs than face public ire,' Kapoor said.

Addressing a press conference, Atishi said the civic bodies' primary source of revenue was the tax collected from both residential and commercial properties.

According to Atishi, the NDMC mayor had said a few days ago that the civic body saw an increase in property tax due to the rise in the number of properties.

However, she added, figures revealed the opposite.

'In the last couple of years, the number of taxed properties have decreased from 5.75 lakh in 2017 to 4.25 lakh in 2020,' she said. 'Therefore, claiming that there has been an increase in tax through an increase in properties is an outright lie.' 'The question is where have the balance properties gone in a matter of three years,' she asked.

Atishi said the NDMC hired an agency in 2017 to survey the number of properties and it was found there were over 12 lakh properties that had to pay property tax.

'These 12-lakh-plus properties were given a Unique Property Identification Code through which the property tax collection mechanism would work. When a survey of 12 lakh properties has been conducted, then why has property tax been collected from roughly one-third of that number?' she asked.

Atishi said this 'scam worth crores' had been running in the NDMC for years now.

She added that property tax worth Rs 2,000 crore should have been collected if one goes by the 12-lakh-plus figure.

'Where is the balance of Rs 1,400 crore? Where is the property tax of the remainder roughly eight lakh properties? Who has pocketed this amount?' she asked, demanding answers from the NDMC. PTI UZM VIT AAR AAR