Mumbaikars may be burdened with increased property tax as BESt wants the same to cross-subsidise its loss-making transportation wing

Mumbai : If the BEST has its way, you might be burdened with increased property tax as the undertaking wants to use the same to cross subsidize its loss-making transportation wing. On the other hand, the island city consumers of electricity will do away with the presently charged Transport Division Loss Recovery (TDLR), once the property tax is increased.

The BEST on Tuesday discussed this proposal in its committee meeting where it proposed amendment in section 139 A of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act to introduce Transport Cess in the property tax. Under the new Act Mumbaikars will be charged up to 8 percent more on their property tax. However, this will happen only after the state government incorporates it in the legislation after a nod from the BMC standing committee following an approval from the BEST committee members themselves.

General Manager of BEST OP Gupta while explaining the need for the amendment said, “At present BMC gets Rs 900 crore annually through a marginal property tax, if Rs 150 crore is collected by levying the Transport Cess, BEST will get specialise tax for specialize purpose which will be effectively utilised.”

Under the proposal, Transport Cess will be dynamic which means the percentage charged will fluctuate depending on the inflation rate and the fuel cost. If the operation cost of the BEST comes down reducing the loss for that annual year so will the Transport Cess. The proposal has been put on hold and will be discussed further. A committee member present during the discussion said, “This year the BMC’s fund to the tune of Rs 600 crore was unutilised, why does the corporation wants to charge Mumbaikars for the transportation loss, instead the BMC should simply divert this fund to the BEST.”

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