Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled municipal Corporations of being involved in “corruption”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj on Saturday said the party will hold a series of 181 Press conferences to expose the rampant “corruption” in the corporations.
Presenting the ‘Municipal Corporation of Delhi’ (MCD’s) audit report, Bhardwaj said that corporations in Delhi are poor even after the property rates are higher compared to other States. “The councillors are rich here because of the rampant corruption in property tax collection in the MCD by the BJP leaders,” he said.
The AAP leader said when the AAP Government was formed in 2015, the Delhi Government had an income of Rs 30,000 crore, which got increased to Rs 60,000 crore in a span of four years without increasing taxes, but
the MCD’s taxpayers decreased in a year.
As per the report, in 2015-16, the MCD collected taxes from 3,95,219 people, the next year, they collected taxes from 4,41,879 people. The taxpayers decreased in 2017-18, and the MCD collected taxes from only 4,05,774 people, he said.
Bhardwaj also said as per the MCD audit report, the tax from the Parsvanath Developers never reached the MCD treasury despite sending a tax notice of Rs 7 crores, which means it went into the pockets of BJP leaders, or officials or both.
The AAP spokesperson added, “The main source of revenue of the municipal corporations across India is property tax. And the surprising fact is that in Delhi, which is the capital of India and where the property tax is one of the highest in the country due to high property rates, the MCDs are lacking funds.
The MCD here is poor but the councilors are rich. How is it possible?
Bhardwaj said, “The lower the taxes the higher the compliance. The lower the taxes, the more and more people will pay the taxes and the treasury of the government will have a much higher collection. But, a reverse trajectory has been noticed in MCD, where the taxes are higher and the compliance and collection are lower, and the corruption is more.
Bhardwaj also said the property tax collection in 2015-16 was Rs 336 crores, it was Rs 614 crores in 2016-17, and it was again decreased to Rs 553 crores in 2017-18.
“Another instance which has been mentioned in their audit report, the property is situated at Magazine Road in the Civil Lines area in the name of Parsvnath Developers.
This property was vacant land till 2015-16, which is why their taxes were Rs 65,43,000. After that, the property was redeveloped, and 23 towers of 10 stories each were constructed. You can imagine the amount of tax that the MCD was collecting from this single property. The tax which was collected owing to the land being vacant was seized, and the MCD did an assessment and gave a tax notice of Rs 7,72,00,000,” he said.
“As per this audit report, the tax was never received despite sending the notice to Parsvanath Developers. This is scheme number 1 of the corruption of the MCD, under BJP 181. Give a property tax notice, conduct an assessment but never collect and submit taxes to the MCD,” said Bhardwaj.