All political parties in the general body of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) decided to give tax exemption to residential properties measuring 500 sq ft and below. The decision is likely to benefit over 2.5 lakh property owners but cause a loss of Rs120 crore to the cash-strapped civic body.
TOI on January 5 had reported about NMC’s property tax consultative committee’s decision to recommend the exemption on the lines of Mumbai. The proposal was tabled before the general body on Tuesday.
Pronouncing the resolution, mayor Dayashankar Tiwari said, “Chief minister should have taken decision for the entire state but limited it to Mumbai. Even, the second capital was not selected. Therefore, we took our own decision. The NMC administration should ensure approval from the government,” he said.
NMC deputy commissioner Milind Meshram said, “There are likely over 2.5 lakh properties of 500 sq ft and below. Annual demand of these properties is around Rs30 crore per annum. Also, there is an arrears of Rs90 crore on these properties,” he said.
Ruling party leader Avinash Thakre suggested implementation of the benefit to eligible persons from January 25. “There can be no better gift for this people on 75th Republic Day. Arrears of Rs 90 crore reveal they are unable to pay the tax. Losing revenue of Rs30 crore per annum will not make any difference to NMC. We can easily manage this by bringing new revenue sources,” he said.
Dharampal Meshram, corporator from Thakre’s party, differed with the latter’s suggestion. “NMC administration should first study whether the government would pay the revenue loss in case of Mumbai. We should demand reimbursement from government,” he said.
He said that there is a possibility a few properties in slum areas not getting the benefit. “Few shanties have an area of over 500 sq ft. Such persons are ineligible to pay tax. Some criteria should be fixed to extend the benefit,” he said.
Leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve, BSP group leader Jitendra Godeshwar and others supported the resolution.
An NMC official said that chances are flats in some areas can become eligible for the benefit. “Their owners are capable and do not need exemption,” he said.
Thakre said a proper team should be formed to implement and give orders to government.
As per NMC’s data, there are around 6.5 lakh properties in the city, which means 38.5% are likely to benefit.
NMC’s officials denied having any information about the criteria framed to extend benefits to eligible people in Mumbai. Cabinet had approved exemption as Shiv Sena had promised it during 2017 municipal elections.
The state’s urban development had stated decision will be implemented from April 1. Around 16.14 lakh residential properties are likely to get relief of Rs462 crore by decision taken by MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray.
Immediately after cabinet’s decision, three legislators from the city — Congress city president Vikas Thakre, BJP city president Pravin Datke and Krishna Khopde — had requested the CM to extend the benefit to entire state.