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Property tax may be hiked in coming days in Ludhiana: Sources

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​​However, sources revealed that hike in property tax is also expected in the coming days, along with announcement of a revised one-time settlement policy (OTS) for illegal structures.

In order to come out of the financial crisis, the civic body is now eyeing at interest waiver on pending water supply and sewerage dues, and property tax, as many people were not paying their dues for fear of high interest rates. 

Mayor Balkar Sandhu has requested the local bodies minister Brahm Mohindra to announce the same shortly. He is requesting senior party leaders to meet the minister and request him for an early announcement, so that MC can generate some funds for development works in the city. 

However, sources revealed that hike in property tax is also expected in the coming days, along with announcement of a revised one-time settlement policy (OTS) for illegal structures.

The civic body is managing with great difficulty the salary of employees, and it is totally dependent on GST share, which comes through the state government. The payment to contractors for works done till August last year has been cleared, but more than one-year payment is pending from the civic body. 

It is because of this reason that contractors do not show interest in doing work for the civic body, and residents suffer when development works are pending. On Thursday, MLA Surinder Dawar met Mohindra on Sandhu’s request, and asked the minister for announcing the rebate or waiver of interest.

Dawar said, “If we have to ask the mayor for ward works in our constituencies, then there is no harm in raising his voice at the government level. I met the minister and requested him to announce the interest waiver.” He said every government has given relaxation in interest on the actual amount because people are not ready to clear their dues, fearing higher interest, so it will also help the civic body recover pending dues from defaulters.

Sandhu said in his last meeting in Chandigarh, the minister had assured him of announcing the waiver soon, and he is also working on finalising the OTS for illegal buildings. He said cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu had also asked Brahm Mohindra to hike property tax rates because in some sectors, rates are too low, and the civic body is bearing the loss. He also claimed there were chances now that property tax would be imposed on quarters and other commercial properties. 

Notably, since the Congress came to power in the MC general house and Sandhu was elected mayor, development works remained on the back-burner at a time when even paying staff salaries had become a herculean task for the civic body.


Though salaries have become smooth now, when it comes to carry new development works in the city, the civic body is still in a tight position. For routine works like road marking on city roads ahead of the foggy weather, the civic body relied on Smart City funds, just because they did not have the funds for it. 

TRIP TO KARTARPUR SAHIB

Mayor Balkar Sandhu has issued letters to all 95 councillors for filling in a registration form if they are willing to go to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan in the coming days. Sandhu said he wanted all councillors to take blessings at the holy shrine, and those who wanted to go should begin the registration process. He said councillors would have to bear the fee expenses, but he would arrange free transportation and food for them.

Source: TNN

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