Thursday, November 29, 2001, Chandigarh, India

M A I N   N E W S

Delhi Cabinet ministers quit to enable reshuffle

New Delhi, November 28
In a sudden development, all six ministers in the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi Government submitted their resignations to the Chief Minister today to enable her revamp the ministry.

The move, just five days ahead of the completion of three years by the government, comes in the backdrop of allegations of corruption from Opposition BJP against some ministers.

The ministers announced their resignations this morning when the Cabinet met routinely to discuss the completion of three years in government on December 3.

Discussions have already begun within the party on the new Council of Ministers. PTI




Relaxations in house tax
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
The Haryana Government today announced certain relaxations in its controversial house tax policy. According to an official release, the state’s “first ever objective policy on house tax”, finalised by Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala here today, gave a substantial package of concessions to all categories of urban property owners besides exempting vacant plots from the purview of the tax. Also, a mechanism was adopted in the formulation for exemption to the poorer sections of society from the purview of the tax, the release stated.

The release states that residential buildings situated in municipal committees, that is, in towns having population less than 50,000, which have annual value up to Rs 3000 shall be completely exempted from payment of house tax. Similarly, residential buildings situated in municipal councils, that is in towns having population of more than 50,000, which have annual value up to Rs 5000 will be exempted from the payment of the tax.

This decision would benefit lakhs of poor people living in the urban areas of the state, stated the release and added that earlier the exemption on residential buildings in municipal committees used to be for buildings having an annual value of up to Rs 600 while the upper limit was Rs 1200 for buildings in municipal councils.

The release said for the remaining residential buildings, the concession of 50 per cent was pushed up to 75 per cent.

All owners of vacant plots, numbering about 50,000 have also been exempted from the payment of house tax.

According to the statement, a decision was also taken to exclude the value of vacant land while calculating house tax of the industrial plots or institutions. The tax on industries would be calculated only on the covered area over which a permanent structure was erected. The prevailing concession of 50 per cent rebate on house tax, however, would continue which would provide benefit to more than 14,000 industrial units and institutions in Haryana, stated the statement. It added that tax liability on industrial units and institutions would come down by half with this step.

The release said as a relief to traders, it was decided to reduce by half tax on commercial institutions. This would benefit around 1.75 lakh commercial institutions in the state.

It was also decided that temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras, dharamshalas, homes for the destitute, cremation grounds and cemetries would be totally exempt from paying house tax. Religious and charitable organisations were also exempted from the tax while these organisations were warned that they should not engage in profit-making activity.

The release said house tax would not be charged for three years in case of new buildings to promote the construction of new buildings.

It added that exemptions and concessions for families of ex-servicemen, widows and handicapped persons would be further liberalised. The release also added those who would pay their house tax bill within one month would be given 10 per cent discount.

The release said while finalising the house tax policy, the Chief Minister had two principles in mind. First, providing relief to poor people and second, enabling the urban local bodies to effectively discharge their constitutional obligation of development of towns. The Chief Minister also took into consideration suggestions from various quarters - extended during two all-party meetings and one meeting with representatives of urban local bodies and improvement trusts and traders — while okaying the modifications carried out in the policy stated the release.


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