Property tax put on hold? Cong eager to claim credit

Property tax which the MC was planning to implement from April 1 this year has been put on hold for the time being, as per sources.

Sources said Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has formed a committee in Chandigarh to study the pros and cons of the move, after which the final decision will be made.

However, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said, "Detailed discussions were held today in Chandigarh on property tax. Most probably, the formula to assess unit value will be changed. However, I will be able to comment on exact details on Monday."

The opposition Congress is trying to garner all the praise for making the government delay and ponder again over the proposed property tax. The party protested against the tax in a MC house meeting on March 12 and budget session on March 16 (where it was not allowed to speak by Mayor), terming it ''an unwanted burden on the residents''.

Congress councillors even boycotted the meeting called by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari to discuss unit value fixation of property tax a few days ago.

The latest demand of the Congress is implementation of property tax on the lines of neighbouring Haryana where unit value has been kept quite low and affordable.

New state Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa, in his brief meeting with the city unit of the party on Saturday at the railway station, guided them "to protest against property tax till the very end".

"We will not allow this anti-people tax to be implemented in Ludhiana or it has to be modified the way Haryana is doing it," said Pawan Dewan, district president, Congress (urban).

Congress spokesperson Parminder Mehta said, "In Haryana, the rate has been kept as Re 1 per square yard which is completely justified. Either SAD-BJP adopt such a policy or forget about the tax."

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