WHITE PAPER ON HOUSE TAX RELEASED BY BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY, CHANDIGARH

On the issue of house tax, the Congress party is playing dirty politics and misleading the citizen of Chandigarh. BJP has decided to issue a White Paper to expose the congress party before the residents of Chandigarh and also to make it clear that the congress party is wholly responsible for imposition of house tax in Chandigarh.

PROPERTY TAX & HOUSE TAX IMPOSED DURING CONGRESS REGIME
In the year 2006, when the Congress was ruling in Centre and the Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was also of congress at the time Government of India, Chandigarh Administration and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation entered into an MOU. As per that MOU Chandigarh Municipal Corporation had to impose house and commercial property tax.

In the year 2006, the Congress party imposed commercial property tax. As per the above said MOU Central Government agreed to issue grants to the Chandigarh Administration and also the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. In lieu of that Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has to impose house tax. As per the above said MOU Chandigarh Administration agreed to transfer several departments to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and also to implement certain reforms for the citizen of Chandigarh, but the Chandigarh Administration failed to execute their part of MOU.

In 2013, His Excellency Sh. Shiv Raj Patil was the Administrator of Chandigarh and Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation was also from the Congress party. At that time, Congress introduced a resolution for imposing house tax at the rate of Re. 1/sqy through the nominated councilors. At that time, argument of the congress was that if house tax will not be imposed, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is going to loose grants worth of Crores from the Central Government. At that time Congress Party also assured that the Administrator, H. E. Sh. Shivraj Patil had given a promise that the tax at the above said rate will not be revised before the year 2006. Congress party had also argued that if the Municipal Corporation will not impose house tax, then the Administration will impose the house tax at higher rates. All the arguments of congress for imposing house tax, at that time proved to be a white lie. At that time, BJP said in the house of Municipal Corporation that no grant is due from the Central Government and that proved to be true and not even a single penny was received from the Central Government. After the resolution of the Municipal Corporation of imposing house tax @ Re.1/sqy, the Administration issued notification only for the year 2013-14 and immediately thereafter the Administration started pressuring the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh for revising the house tax. From the above said facts, it is crystal clear that the Congress party has mislead the people of Chandigarh and imposed the house tax by putting false facts before the people of Chandigarh.

BJP OPPOSED THE MOVE
At that time BJP strongly opposed the resolution for imposing house tax and voted against that resolution. The argument of BJP was that if once the house tax is imposed on the residents of Chandigarh, there is a probability of revision of house tax time to time. It was another argument of BJP Chandigarh that if there was compulsion of imposing house tax as per 2006 MOU, then the Chandigarh Administration should implement that MOU in toto and execute each and every condition on the party of the Chandigarh Administration, inspite of the strong protest of BJP, Congress party, first time in the City, imposed house tax and burdened the residents of Chandigarh.

In the year 2013, the Administration issued a notification of imposing house tax @ Re. 1 per sq.yd. only for the year 2013-14 and also started pressuring the Municipal Corporation for the revision of House Tax, by writing letters from time to time. The administration has not issued notification of house tax for the year 2014-15. Congress party has imposed house tax @ Re. 1/sqyd, by misleading the people of Chandigarh, but discontinued the house tax at the above said rate. The notification of house tax in the year 2014-15 was not issued under a conspiracy, because as per Section 90 (4) & (5) of The Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976, the Administration can only direct the Municipal Corporation for imposing a tax which is not already imposed. Under the aid section, the Administration can direct the Municipal Corporation to impose the new tax, but cannot direct the Municipal Corporation to revised an already imposed tax. In the year 2014, the notification regard house tax @ Re.1/sqyd, was not issued, for the purpose that the Administration can claim that House Tax was upto March 2014 and thereafter House Tax is to be imposed afresh.

FAILURE OF THE MAYOR
For the last some days the Administration was asking the Municipal Corporation to pass a resolution of revised house tax and officers of the Administration have also made it clear that if the Municipal Corporation is not going to pass a resolution of revised house tax, then the Administration will impose house tax at its own. In the year 2013 when the residents were burdened with house tax by the Congress, BJP has clearly said that once the house tax is imposed, there is always probability of its revision from time to time. BJP Councillors have already cleared their stand that if a ruling party in Municipal Corporation comes up with a clear proposal on house tax, the BJP will study the proposal and decide in the interest of the residents of Chandigarh. The stand of the administration, regarding imposition of house tax was very much clear. But Congress party made up their mind to do dirty politics on the issue of house tax. Taking into consideration the stand taken by the Administration, it was required that Mayor of the congress party should come up with a balanced house tax resolution in the general house of the Municipal Corporation, so that Municipal Corporation should have exercised its rights after deliberations on the balanced house tax, but Congress party and its Mayor under a conspiracy failed to do her duties, with the intention that the Administration will impose the house tax and the Congress party will get an opportunity to blame the BJP. The decision of imposing house tax is a total administrative decision, and due to the dirty politics of the Congress, dignity of the Municipal Corporation which is the only democratic platform in the city, has been hurt. The Mayor of Congress called an emergency meeting of all councilors, the very next day the house tax is imposed, whereas the Mayor should have called a meeting of all councilors much before that to reach on consensus in a meeting with the Advisor to Administrator, when Mayor and all councilors raised their objections that imposition of house tax is in the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and the Administration by imposing the house tax has hurted the dignity of the municipal corporation. Advisor to Administrator was requested to restore the rights of the Municipal Corporation to impose the house tax and the Mayor of the Congress party and other councilors gave a proposal to the Advisor to Administrator that they are now ready to impose the house tax and the Administration should give an opportunity to the Municipal Corporation and after the imposition of house tax by the municipal Corporation the Administration should withdraw its notification. On this proposal the advisor to administrator requested told the Mayor that he is ready to consider this proposal if the Mayor gives this proposal in writing but days after that meeting with the Advisor to Administrator the Mayor has not handed over any letter to the Advisor, because the Congress party is not interested to restore the rights and dignity of the Municipal Corporation and the Congress party which imposed house tax first time in 2013 is no way concerned to impose rational house tax. It is crystal clear from the above fact that the Congress party on the issue of house tax is not with the people of Chandigarh and the Congress party has only one target to do dirty politics on the issue of house tax.

CHANDIGARHIANS WILL GIVE BEFITTING REPLY
The people of Chandigarh fully understand the dirty politics of the congress party and like the people taught a lesson to the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Election, now again the people of Chandigarh will uproot the congress party, which is responsible for hurting the dignity of the Municipal Corporation.

MAIN POINTS

  • In 2006 under Congress regime the Commercial Property tax was imposed. This opened the way for house property tax.
  • In 2013, under Congress regime, house tax was imposed, but without getting the counter advantages from Central Govt under the MOU signed in 2006.
  • Then Governor issued notification only for one year and then it got lapsed.
  • Number of letters were written by Administration to Mayor Chandigarh Corporation to discuss this matter and finalize the rate structure of this matter by bringing it in the Corporation house as agenda item.
  • Congress Party ruled Corporation not only ignored all the letters and even verbal reminders and incited/forced Administration to issue this notification.