Punjab Cong leaders oppose Bill imposing property tax

A group of Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday submitted a representation to the Punjab Governor demanding that the bill imposing property tax passed by the Punjab Assembly on December 18 be returned for reconsideration. They rued that the property tax has been imposed by the Punjab government by a high-handed process and infringes on the autonomy of the corporation.

The representation states that after the abolishment of the octroi on petrol and diesel, the Punjab government in 2006 had committed to pay 10 per cent VAT to the Municipal Corporation to compensate for the loss. The government is unlikely to honour this commitment after imposition of the new property tax. The leaders alleged that the government wants to divert this money to give largesse to populist and vote-catching measures.

The representation further states that the Property Tax imposed would be based on the unit value of the property which is to be decided keeping in mind the prevalent price of the land, cost of construction and rental value which would be revised every five years. Because of the high established land prices, the Property Tax is anticipated to be a heavy burden on individual, institutional and governmental establishments.

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