Mumbai, Jan 6 (PTI) With the Mumbai civic polls just a year away, city Congress president Bhai Jagtap on Wednesday demanded that the property tax for houses measuring up to 500 sq ft in Mumbai be waived totally and alleged the previous BJP government had failed to do the needful in this regard.
Speaking to reporters, he also demaned that houses and tenements measuring from 501 sq ft to 700 sq ft be given a 60 per cent waiver in the property tax, and slum-dwellers in Mumbai be provided water for free sans any levy.
The then BJP-Shiv Sena government in March 2019 had approved a proposal to exempt residential properties up to 500 sq ft, within the Mumbai municipal area limits, from property tax.
Earlier, the Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had announced that the property tax for houses up to 500 sq ft will be waived.
Jagtap reiterated that the Congress, a constituent in the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, wanted to contest all 227 seats in the Mumbai civic body on its own strength.
He recalled that the Congress and the NCP had fought the Mumbai civic polls separately while they shared power in then Maharashtra government, prior to 2014.
On property tax, Jagtap said, 'Instead of granting the total property tax waiver to houses measuring 500 sq ft in Mumbai, the previous government brought an ordinance on March 10, 2019 waiving only 10 per cent of the 'general component' of the property tax'.
He said the civic body has asked the house owners to pay the property tax arrears in 2020-21.
The Congress leader also alleged that then CM Devendra Fadnavis had made the property tax waiver announcement only with an eye on elections.
He said the BMC had approved the (property tax waiver) proposal in its meeting held on July 6, 2017.
'The civic body gets Rs 500 crore in the form of water tax, out of which Rs 162 crore comes from slum pockets in Mumbai.
'If the water tax is waived for residents of slums, the civic body will have to bear the burden of only Rs 162 crore,but the harassment of poor slum dwellers by the tanker mafia will stop,' he said. PTI MR NSK NSK