As the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) contemplates imposing additional taxes on student hostels and paying guest accommodations to boost property tax collection, the city unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has voiced opposition to the proposal.
This proposal is poised to have a significant financial impact on the lakhs of students who come to Pune for education, exams, and employment, the party added.
"Pune, being an education hub, attracts numerous individuals who stay throughout the year for exam preparation or temporary periods, availing accommodations such as cot basis stay, paying guest arrangements, or rentals. They rent a place based on their financial capacity. For safety reasons, girls often choose to live together. Additionally, many individuals live alone in the city for employment, including a significant number of laborers," the party added in a statement.
The party said that the majority of these individuals belong to the economically middle and lower classes. If these residences are categorised as non-residential or commercial, the party stated that the landlords may increase rent, placing an additional burden on students.
Targate big businesses
In light of these concerns, AAP's state spokesperson Mukund Kirdat has stated that deeming these incomes under non-residential and commercial tag is inappropriate.
Kirdat further emphasised that such a decision should not be made in the absence of people's representatives in the civic body.
Sudarshan Jagdale, President of AAP Pune, has also urged against harassing small businessmen and advocates addressing issues related to significant arrears, big businessmen taking advantage of discounts, unregistered businesses, hoteliers providing service apartments, and major business hostels.