BJP slams Cong-ruled BBMP for increase in property tax, trade licence fee

BJP slams Cong-ruled BBMP for increase in property tax, trade licence fee

Opposition leader in the BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy, has criticised the hike in property tax, and trade licence, building plan approval and pro rata charges for new water connection.

Releasing the book titled ‘Charge sheet’ to support his claims here on Tuesday, Padmanabha Reddy accused Mayor B N Manjunath Reddy of “misusing” his power by taking major decisions “contrary” to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act. “This is the beginning of our fight. We will plan our future course of action against these irregularities and the hike in tax in a week,” he told the reporters.

Reddy said the property tax hike would burden people who were already grappling with an increase in the prices of groceries, electricity and milk. The 20% hike in domestic and 25% hike in commercial establishments are unscientific. The hike in trade licence and building plan approval fees, 100% increase in pro rata charges (one-time payment for new water and sanitary connections) and borewell charges are unwarranted.

The BJP “never burdened” the people during its six-year rule in the BBMP Council, Reddy claimed, reading from the book that mentioned major civic challenges in Bengaluru, along with newspaper reports.

Padmanabha Reddy accused the mayor of “misusing” his discretionary power to divert Rs 99 crore to the BBMP’s Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance without getting the Council’s approval. He said the KMC Act had been “violated”. He also suggested that the Congress-ruled BBMP “sidelined” BJP-represented wards in distributing Rs 173.33 crore grants received from the Central government under the 14th Finance Commission.

The BJP corporator leader also cried foul in the BBMP’s decision on whitetopping of BEL Road by Python-5000, a pothole-patching machine. He also castigated the Palike for “failing” to address the garbage problem and investigate the advertisement scam that runs into thousands of crores.

B N Vijay Kumar, the BJP’s Jayanagar MLA, urged the mayor and the chief minister to respond to these issues “in true spirit” instead of questioning the BJP about what it did during its tenure. “Promising crores of rupees in the budget was just an eyewash. The government didn’t allocate even half of the money it promised in the budget,” he said.

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