MC grilled on property tax, doubts raised but no consensus reached

Lud

The interactive session organised by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on Wednesday to clarify doubts on the newly imposed property tax backfired and that too quite badly. The MC was grilled and left exposed.

Officials failed to answer genuine queries raised by senior citizens, ex-servicemen, businessmen and others. The session in the end turned out to be damp squid with additional commissioner Isha Kalia being gheraoed by the residents at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. Ultimately she left the session amid high chaos.

DC Rajat Aggarwal and Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria opened property tax accounts by filing first returns. While DC paid Rs 4,36,000 as tax of mini-secretariat as institutional property, Mayor filed returns of his personal properties. Meanwhile, Congress announced that it will begin its protest against property tax on October 7 at MC Zone A headquarters.

Some queries that went unanswered<\b>

Microphone turned off !

A resident who was asking queries to Kalia was left astonished when his microphone was turned off on the orders of MC commissioner Rahul Tewari. "We saw commissioner signaling the sound guy to switch off the microphone when the person turned a bit loud while speaking," said an eye-witness.

Why no concession for senior citizens <\b>

MC was a harried lot on the questions raised by senior citizens. A senior citizen asked that 'why there is no concession for them as they are dependent on their children.' He further asked that while the properties taken over by MC from Ludhiana Improvement Trust have still not been allotted property numbers and UIDs, how is MC expecting them to pay tax?

A senior citizen further asked that how MC is asking for the tax when the colonies in which they are living are still unauthorized and fall under PUDA/GLADA?

A resident had no answer to his question that if their buildings were made 30 years ago at a construction cost of 100/per square foot, how is the government asking for 500/sq.ft construction cost now?

... contd.

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