Gurgaon civic body aims to develop world class city

June 9th, 2008 - 9:52 am ICT by IANS  

By Mamta Sharma
Gurgaon, June 9 (IANS) The newly formed civic body of this booming IT and corporate hub abutting Delhi hopes to earn millions in taxes from commercial properties like malls and office complexes that will be channelled into creating a truly world class city, its chief says. “We would have no problem on the revenue front for taking up quality upkeep and maintenance projects,” Rajeev Sharma, municipal commissioner of Gurgaon, told IANS in an interview.

The builders’ lobby that has developed several private colonies like DLF City, Palam Vihar, South City and Sushant Lok had stiffly resisted the formation of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) since they would no longer be able to collect exorbitant maintenance charges from the residents.

“A major share of revenue from these areas would come to our coffers in the form of house tax that was not chargeable from the property owners of private colonies before the formation of the MCG,” Sharma said.

“Revenue that could run into crores (tens of millions) of rupees annually would come from commercial properties such as malls, market places, and office complexes,” he pointed out.

“The revenue so collected would be spent on making Gurgaon a truly world class city,” Sharma claimed. Some 1.3 million people live in the areas that have been brought under the MCG’s jurisdiction.

While it has sought budgetary support from the Haryana state government, the MCG already has Rs.1 billion in its kitty after the abolition of panchayats in the villages in and around Gurgaon that have come under its jurisdiction.

“We have written to the state government for a budget allocation but we already have in our coffers about Rs.100 crore (Rs.1 billion) that the panchayats had collected. This money would only be spent for development projects in the villages,” Sharma said.

According to Sharma, Gurgaon for years required an apex civic body responsible for the overall and synergic development of this fast-developing city that has made a mark for itself on the world map.

Now, the MCG has diverse bodies like the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department and the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) under its umbrella.

“These civic bodies had been functioning in their respective jurisdictions in vacuum. The residents would now witness planned and sustainable development in Gurgaon,” Sharma maintained.

Apart from property tax, MCG would also raise money through a fire tax and stamp duties.

As for the property tax, this will now be paid to the MCG in lieu of the maintenance charges homeowners were paying to private builders.

“All the private developers were bound to transfer the maintenance of their townships five years after getting the completion certificate from the Town and Country Planning Department. However, it is to be seen as to how many developers have received the completion certificate,” Sharma said.

“After we take over the upkeep and maintenance of these colonies, the residents would seize to pay charges to the developers,” he added.

Sharma clarified that those living in their own houses would be exempted from paying house tax.

Owners of residential or commercial property who have rented out their premises would be liable to pay tax at different rates.

“House owners would pay tax at the rate of 2.5 percent of the annual rental income. The owners of commercial properties would have to pay tax at the rate of five percent of the annual rental income,” Sharma explained.

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