The UT Administration on Thursday approved 50 per cent exemption in property tax to the retired and serving Defence personnel in the city on all properties above 300 square yards, even as the civic body had written for a 100 per cent exemption for them.
UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore on Thursday gave the go-ahead to the move. It was on the lines of Punjab that the exemption was being sought. The matter had been lingering for the last four years and the civic body had sent in several recommendations for the exemption after approving them in the general house.
UT Adviser Manoj Parida told Chandigarh Newsline said that civic body has limited resources and that is why 50 per cent exemption has been given.
“Keeping in view the limited resources of the Municipal Corporation, like they have to manage the dispensaries, sanitation, street lighting and various other things, an exemption of 50 per cent has been given. Civic body has very less revenue generation and they keep asking for grants. That is why this decision has been taken,” he said.
Parida added, “It is already free for retired and serving defence personnel owning properties below 300 square yards. So we decided to give 50 per cent exemption to those with properties above 300 square yards.” In a house meeting in 2018 when the issue was taken up by Major General M S Kandal (Retd), the house had approved the move and sent it to the UT Administration. But the file remained stuck at the end of the UT Administration.
During the house meeting at that time, when it was asked about the details of retired and serving defence personnel from the city, Additional Commissioner Anil Garg had said there were around 834 personnel in Chandigarh and if complete exemption is given, MC will exempt an annual amount of Rs 16.32 lakh.
A release by the office of MP-elect Kirron Kher on Thursday stated, “After the constant efforts of Member of Parliament Kirron Kher, UT Administration has taken a decision to exempt 50 per cent property tax on serving and retired defence personnel owning more than 300 yards property. So far, they were paying 100 per cent tax and below 300 yards are already enjoying exemption.”
Kher said that serving and retired defence personnel living in Chandigarh were demanding this exemption after which she raised the matter with officials of UT Administration. “Now this exemption will bring a big relief to them,” she said.
Brigadier (retired) Harwant Singh who struggled for this similar move in Punjab stated that when Punjab and several other states were given complete 100 per cent exemption to the retired and serving defence personnel why Chandigarh was not allowing it.
“Chandigarh has been carved out of old Punjab. When other states can give 100 per cent, why not Chandigarh? This city should have rather set an example and be the first one to exempt it,” he said.
During the filing of property tax, there had been utter confusion in the Municipal Corporation when the officials had put several residents on notice to deposit the property tax. Residents had complained that the officials didn’t have any previous record and not many of them had years’ old receipts for depositing the tax.