No new taxes this year, assures new mayor
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'We would ensure that the grants that have not been released by the administration are received at the earliest.'
Newly elected Mayor Subhash Chawla on Tuesday assured that no new taxes would be imposed on the city residents this year. The assurance comes after repeated reminders from the Centre and the UT Administration for imposition of house tax.
The administration has repeatedly been asking the Municipal Corporation to impose tax as failure to do so could affect grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.
However, Chawla said that the residents would not be burdened with new taxes. "In the initial years of the formation of the civic body, the budget was around Rs 50-55 crore. This has now increased to Rs 500 crore. There are sufficient funds available with the MC. We would ensure that the grants that have not been released by the administration are received at the earliest. This would replenish the fixed deposits from where money is being drawn," said Chawla.
He added that he would approach the Finance Commission to get an enhancement in the share of the MC in the budgetary allocation for Chandigarh.
The new mayor said he would aim at making Chandigarh free of construction waste, and sanitation would be another area of his focus.
"Last year, due to unexpected heat, there were problems of shortage of water supply. This time, steps would be taken to ensure this does not happen. The aim would be to improve functioning of all departments. People expect good services from the MC which would be provided. Participatory democracy would be encouraged," he said.
He expressed hope that the councillors of the Opposition would be co-operative and facilitate the functioning of the MC.
Chawla had joined the Youth Congress in 1974 and later held positions of block president and district president. From 1983-87, he remained president of the Chandigarh unit of Youth Congress. He was twice nominated vice-president of Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee and was general secretary three times. He was mayor in 2003 as well.
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