Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday, January 16 said that the government is in discussion with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials to reduce property tax penalties for certain types of properties in Bengaluru. Speaking at the mass grievance redressal programme Government at Your Doorstep at Gandhinagar, the Deputy Chief Minister said that there are several pleas regarding reduction of property tax and penalties for 30x40 sites and sheds.
“We are discussing it with the concerned officials. Do not worry about the notices served to you about payment of property taxes and penalties. We are trying to reduce the penalties as much as possible. We have received similar pleas from other grievance redressal programmes too,” Shivakumar said.
He said that the 2020 law has heavy penalties for property tax payment delays. “The law needs to be amended. We will give you more information regarding it in a few days. We have already instructed officials to collect taxes as per the old regime and not put pressure on the public to pay up the new tariff. The differential will be adjusted in the next year’s taxes,” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the government's intention is to bring everyone under the tax bracket. “With the widened tax net, both taxpayers and the BBMP benefit. Under the self-declaration scheme, people are under-declaring their property sizes. Minister Ramalinga Reddy has also written a letter about it,” he said.
“You have come here with your individual and collective pleas because the officials concerned haven’t cooperated with you. We are here to solve your issues, please register your pleas and provide your contact details so that officials can contact you,” he said.
He said that a separate team is being formed to look into the pleas, adding that all the pleas will be resolved within the legal framework. “There are many complaints about traffic congestion. Steps are also being taken to resolve traffic issues in Bengaluru through white topping. A tender has been called for the white topping works worth Rs 2,000 crores,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Referring to the issue of pavements raised by MLA Ashwath Narayan, he said that street vendors will be allowed to operate only on a cart. “There is a High court order and the BBMP Commissioner will go to jail if he doesn’t follow it. I am not opposed to street vendors doing business. All street vendors must be registered and must operate out of a cart. It causes a lot of inconvenience if they do business on pavements,” he said.
He said that the unauthorised hoardings have been banned. “The BBMP Commissioner has been instructed to take strict action irrespective of party affiliations. We are planning to bring out a new law to regulate hoardings and banners in the city,” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the previous government had promised to build one lakh homes for the poor, but nothing has been done about it. “There are many complaints about it. This issue was discussed in the Cabinet meeting. The Housing Minister has already said that houses will be distributed to the people,” he said.
He said officials have been instructed to resolve the issues of pension, Gruhalakshmi and Khata on the spot.