Poll year: BJP unlikely to accept any hike in taxes

HT Correspondent

New Delhi, Dec. 7 -- Though EDMC commissioner SS Yadav proposed several new taxes and hiked old ones in his budget, there is speculation if his plans will be actually implemented. Assembly elections are due next year, and the BJP leadership has already hinted that the councillors of the three corporations should reject these plans if they want to retain the voters' confidence.

"We are yet to discuss the commissioner's budget but the interest of people will be duly considered before taking any decision," said east Delhi standing committee chairman Mahak Singh. He said the standing committee has to approve all these proposals before they are implemented.

On Wednesday, when the North Corporation commissioner had proposed hikes in property tax and parking charges, the BJP leadership had immediately said that they would reject any hikes in taxes. "In our election manifesto, we had promised the residents of Delhi that no new tax will be imposed on them. We will keep our word," said

Mahender Nagpal, Leader of the House, North Delhi Corporation.

The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, has called the budgets proposed by both the commissioners 'anti-people' and said the BJP should stop blaming the Congress for inflation.

"The Congress only raises the prices of petrol, which is actually determined by global forces. The corporation is increasing taxes in even those areas where the poor reside," said Varyam Kaur leader of opposition in East Delhi.

Similar hikes are expected when the budget for the south corporation will be presented on Friday. "The BJP leadership is very clear that in Delhi, only the Congress hikes the prices. BJP never hikes taxes," said Yogender Chandolia, a BJP leader.

But even as leaders refuse all hikes, civic officials are constantly under pressure to implement projects that require funds. "If no taxes are hiked, money generation for projects will get difficult," said an official.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.