Property lax waiver likely for flats up to 700 square feet
Pre-poll year bonanza for citizens as BJP goes one-up on ally Sena, which had, as part of BMC, proposed waiver for flats up to 500 sqft
IN the political one-upmanship between the ruling allies, the citizen is emerging the ultimate winner. At the legislative Assembly on Wednesday, the BJP announced that it was willing to extend property tax waiver to citizens with 700 square feet homes, which is 200 square feet more than what the Shiv Sena had proposed last year.
The House was also informed that Sena's proposal, which had been passed by the civic body and sent to the municipal commissioner for the state government's nod, hadn't reached the Mantralaya at all. In addition to a waiver for under 500 sqft homes, Sena-led BMC had proposed a 60 per cent concession in property tax to houses measuring up to 700 sqft. Replying to a debate on Mumbai's Development Plan (DP), Chief Minister Devendra Fad-navis told the Assembly that the state would approve proposals sent by the BMC. "Be it for 500 sqft or 700 sqft, we will be positive about it, because BMC has the resources to implement the scheme," Fadnavis said.
It was BJP's Mumbai president and MLA Ashish Shelar who had first demanded a waiver for flats larger than 500 sqft.
When Sena's Sunil Prabhu, former Mumbai mayor, asked if the government had received a proposal from the BMC regarding smaller sized flats, the CM replied in the negative, and assured that any new proposal forwarded to him henceforth would be processed. He said all statutory requirements would have to be completed by the BMC in order to get a proposal cleared.
The state will now have to amend the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, to implement the waiver. If implemented, the BMC will have to forego around ?616 crore in annual tax, which is its biggest source of revenue, sources said.
Meanwhile, Sena corporators were angry with the BMC administration on being told that it had not sent the party's formal proposal of property tax waiver for houses up to 500 sqft.
Shiv Sena to be snubbed on DP, too?
CM Devendra Fadnavis said though the government gets two-and-a-half years to give a final clearance to the DP after its submission, he has expedited the procedure to get it cleared by the month-end.
He said the topmost thing on the government's mind was to ensure open spaces. "It has been decided to not accept resolutions passed by the BMC about such open
spaces," he said. This means the Sena will not have a say in the proposals passed in the civic body.
Fadnavis said the DP will not deprive natives like Kolis and Adivasis of the city of their space. The civic chief will be given special powers to define the gaothans and padas and draw independent DCRs for them.
Number of residential properties having area of up to 700 square feet
Civic body's earnings in property tax this year so far
'Be it for500 sqft or 700 sqft, we will be positive about it, because the BMC has the resources to implement the scheme9
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis