News Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Delhi: Your power bill may go up if SDMC okays electricity tax hikes tomorrow - ET EnergyWorld
News Source/Courtesy: economictimes.indiatimes.com

NEW DELHI: Power bills for lakhs of south Delhi households may become costlier in coming months if South Delhi Municipal Corporation gives its go-ahead to a proposal to increase electricity tax.

Facing an acute financial crunch, SDMC wants to increase the electricity tax from the existing rate of 5% of the billing amount to 6%. The commissioner and the standing committee have already cleared the proposal and a final decision will be taken by the House on Monday.

The electricity tax is collected by the distribution companies on behalf of municipal corporations.

The commissioner’s proposal argues that financial assistance and grants of the civic body have drastically reduced from 2018-19 onwards and they are not even able to meet their normal expenditure.

A senior south corporation official said that the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act authorises the corporation to levy tax on consumption, sale and supply of electricity within the jurisdiction areas. It is estimated that around 60 lakh people live in four administrative zones of the south corporation—South, West, Central and Najafgarh.

Another SDMC official added that the hike in electricity tax was recommended by the 5th Delhi Finance Commission report.

“The Urban development department had constituted 5th Delhi Finance Commission in 2016. The commission in its report has recommended for enhancement of rate of electricity tax from the current level of five % to six%. Delhi government has decided to continue with the present arrangement,” the proposal reads.

If a consumer gets a bill of Rs 2,000, he/she is currently paying an electricity tax of Rs 100. If the proposal is cleared, they will have to pay Rs 120, explained the official.

Apart from the power bill hike proposal, the House will also take a decision on property tax hike on commercial properties, professional tax and way leave charges. All these proposals, if approved, are likely to increase burden on the pockets of Delhites.

The cash-strapped civic body is planning to levy professional taxes on self-employed professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, etc. “Professionals earning less than Rs 20,000 a month will be kept out of the ambit of the new tax. If the move is cleared, others will have to shell out Rs 150-200 per month. The new tax is likely to bring Rs 50 crore revenue for the municipal corporation,” said an official.

TOI had earlier reported about SDMC’s plans to impose way leave charges and to increase property tax on commercial properties, which would impact road cutting agencies and commercial properties, respectively.

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News Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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