In a major poll promise, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said house tax will be abolished and pending dues will be waived if Aam Aadmi Party emerges victorious in the municipal elections.
Calling current house tax structure as "draconian", the AAP chief alleged that it has become a source of widespread corruption for municipal councillors and officers in all three civic bodies where BJP is in power for the last 10 years.
There are an estimated nine lakh property tax payers in the city and about Rs 600 crore in revenue is earned annually by the three civic bodies, according to official sources.
Civic polls, to be held on April 23, are seen as a crucial test of AAPs popularity in the city after its "disappointing" performance in Punjab and Goa Assembly polls. With this poll promise, it is clear that the Aam Aadmi Party, which had a stunning victory in Delhi in 2015, is again banking on populist measures to woo voters.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal also promised that within a year of coming to power in the MCDs, the AAP administration would turn around the finances of the loss- making municipal bodies and ensure that their employees get their salaries on or before the seventh of every month.
"As soon as the AAP comes to power in the MCDs with a full majority, we will abolish the collection of house residential tax and waive all pending dues with immediate effect. We are making this promise with full responsibility and after thorough study and planning," the AAP Chief said.
Kejriwal said after coming to power in Delhi, his government kept its promise of halving electricity bills and offering twenty thousand litres of water for free to each family, within one month.
The Chief Minister also promised to make Delhi a modern city if AAP wins the MCD polls.
About abolishing the house tax, he said AAP has worked out the arithmetic and the money to be saved by containing corruption will be utilised to cover the shortfall in revenue.
He said Aam Aadmi Party will soon release its manifesto for the polls where details about various welfare measures will be mentioned.