MCD Commissioner K S Mehra on Thursday came under fire for his proposals to increase tax in the civic body’s budget with BJP leaders, including Delhi Mayor Rajni Abbi, accusing him of fulfilling Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s agenda.
“It is very much clear now from the budget proposals presented by the Commissioner that Delhiities will have to bear the brunt of heavy taxes just to make the local bodies run and make them self dependent.
“The Commissioner is just working on the agenda of the Chief Minister and thus presented such proposals,” Mr. Abbi said in a statement.
Her comments came against the backdrop of proposals to increase property tax, besides introducing congestion charges in crowded places, mentioned in Mr. Mehta’s budget speech.
However, wary of the negative impact these can have on its prospects in the municipal elections next year, BJP leaders said the proposals will not be implemented.
In a separate statement, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta echoes Mr. Abbi and said he had directed Standing Committee Chairman Yogendra Chandolia to call a meeting of the panel on Saturday and immediately reject the imposition of new taxes.
He said he strongly opposed the implementation of “agenda of the Congress by imposing taxes” on the people of Delhi.
Mr. Gupta alleged that the proposal of new taxes by the Commissioner was the result of “connivance between Congress and the bureaucracy”.
Mr. Gupta directed Mr. Chandolia that the entire list of the proposed taxes be rejected immediately because BJP is clearly of the view that the revenue from the present sources is sufficient to meet the expenditure and there is no need to impose new taxes on the people.
He alleged that the Congress plans to recover the increased expenditure resulting from the trifurcation of MCD from people.
Mr. Abbi also objected to the Delhi government decision to take over 499 roads maintained by MCD and accused Dikshit of trying to make MCD a defunct body by taking over its services one-by-one.
“The Chief Minister’s wish is to make MCD a defunct body, taking over its services one-by-one. It is not understandable what the hurry for taking was over the roads by calling an urgent cabinet meeting in the hospital itself where she was recuperating from the illness,” she said.
Questioning the alleged haste in taking the decision, Mr. Abbi said the Chief Minister could have waited till she recovered.
“But calling a Cabinet Meeting in the hospital shows that she is eager to make MCD a defunct body. The decision was taken especially on a day when Commissioner had to present the Budget proposals in the Standing Committee so that the media attention could be avoided,” the Mayor alleged.
Mr. Abbi also claimed that the intention of the Chief Minister to trifurcate MCD was not for providing better basic services to the citizens but for addressing political aspirations.