Mumbai: BMC corporators reject sewage, water tax hike, stage walkout

Mumbai: BMC councillors cutting across parties have opposed the move of the authority to increase water and sewerage taxes in its area of jurisdiction from June 16. Assistant Municipal Corporation (AMC) Vijay Singal informed the corporators about the price hike but it was opposed and rejected as soon as the officer began to read out the proposal on Wednesday.

Leader of Opposition Ravi Raja stated that they are against any hike after which he along with other corporators walked out of the Standing Committee meeting. Raja said they rejected the proposal as the fixed period for tax hike was over.

“In 2012, the Standing Committee gave sanction to the authority that it can hike water and sewerage tax by a maximum eight per cent every year. BMC was also given authority for hike on water and sewerage tax up to five years. As the duration is ending, they again brought it to the notice of the members of the Standing Committee. “We (Congress) along with BJP would reopen the 2012 policy and will demand corrections in it as it gives freedom to the authority to increase water tax by up to eight per cent every year which is too much,” he added.

Following the rejection, there will not be hike after June 16 till the new proposal is tabled by the BMC administration.

With the implementation of the GST from July 1, the BMC will lose huge revenue from Octroi collection as it has to be abolished. The opposition has accused the corporation of finding new alternatives for generating revenue, saying water and sewerage tax is one out of those means. BMC stands to earn a revenue of Rs, 68.88 crore from the water and sewerage tax hike in a year if levied.

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