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Chandigarh

Posted at: Apr 25, 2019, 7:36 AM; last updated: Apr 25, 2019, 7:36 AM (IST)COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Taxing times for owners

MC allows Sampark centres to charge Rs 100 extra sans House nod
Taxing times for owners
Sampark Centres

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 24

The decision of the Municipal Corporation to allow Sampark centres to charge an extra Rs 100 plus service tax on each bill from owners depositing commercial property has been opposed by the owners, who have termed the extra fee illegal.

Over 23,000 owners of commercial properties have been left with no option but to pay an extra Rs 100 plus service tax of Rs 18 for depositing property tax at Sampark centres as the MC has stopped accepting the tax at banks from April 1. While the online payment service is yet to start, the MC is also not accepting cheques at its office.

Devinder Singh Babla, Leader of the Opposition in the MC House, said the extra amount was never approved by the MC House and MC officials could not charge even a rupee extra for any service rendered by the civic body without the approval of the House. He said he would raise the issue at the next meeting of the House.

Naveen Manglani, president of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, questioned why owners the commercial properties should pay extra while depositing the tax at Sampark centres.

Collecting the tax was the responsibility of the MC, he said, adding that while owners of commercial properties had been asked to pay an extra Rs 100 per bill, the MC was also paying Rs 50 per bill to the Sampark centres. Mayor Rajesh Kalia said he would look into the issue. KK Yadav, Commissioner, said the MC had requested the IT Department to rationalise the charges. He said these were facilitation charges fixed by the IT Department and not by the MC; so there was no need for approval of the House.

Vigilance probe sought into missing records

RK Garg, a social activist, has demanded a Vigilance inquiry into misplaced records of property tax. In a complaint to the Chief Vigilance Officer, Chandigarh, he said the MC was issuing notices to owners for payment of property tax even though they had already done so.

Owners have no choice

Over 23,000 owners of commercial properties have been left with no option but to pay an extra Rs 100 plus service tax of Rs 18 for depositing property tax at Sampark centres as the MC has stopped accepting the tax at banks from April 1. While the online payment service is yet to start, the MC is also not accepting cheques at its office.

‘MC can’t impose tax without approval’   

Ajay Jagga, an  advocate, said the MC could not impose any tax, except tax on land and buildings, and advertisements (as provided u/s 90-1) without the approval of the government. No tax could be imposed without providing an opportunity to residents to file objections. Any tax imposed by the MC in the absence of government approval and without providing an opportunity to the people to file objections is arbitrary and not sustainable. The whole process must be probed.

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