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BMCC Demands Tax From Govt Buildings Leaving State Govt Miffed

Vidhan Soudha houses Karnataka's State Legislative Assembly, Bengaluru, India. (Photo by: IndiaPictures/UIG via Getty Images)

Vidhan Soudha houses Karnataka's State Legislative Assembly, Bengaluru, India. (Photo by: IndiaPictures/UIG via Getty Images)

The Bengaluru Municipal Corporation's (BBMP) recent decree to collect service tax from various seats of power has not gone down well with the state government.

Bengaluru: The Bengaluru Municipal Corporation's (BBMP) recent decree to collect service tax from various seats of power has not gone down well with the state government.

Recently, the BBMP issued a decree, asking the state government to pay taxes for the services rendered to various seats of power, including Vidhana Soudha, Governor's house, and Vikas Soudha, causing heartburn to the ruling Congress government.

The BBMP, which has a majority of BJP councillors but a Congress mayor, has written a letter to the Public Works Department to collect service fees from the six government buildings.

In its letter to the PWD Department, the municipal body has asked PWD to fix a rate for these services rendered by the body and to ensure that fee is collected from six government buildings - Vidhana Soudha, Vikas Soudha, High Court, Raj Bhavan, and Police head quarters.

According to the BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, for the first time, such an order was issued as the corporation was in need of money.

"We have to provide services to the citizen. We have to provide good roads. It is obligatory of the BBMP to provide good roads. If the corporation is sound, we can provide all the services to the common people" said Manjunath Prasad.

Last Saturday, the Municipal body, which is one of the largest in the country, presented a budget of Rs 9,247 crore. However, the budget came under criticism from experts, who called it an inflated one.

According to BBMP, the revenue collected from these six buildings could fetch the corporation Rs 2.60 crore annually. The corporation is planning to charge Rs 5 per square feet, Rs 2.50 for parking stand, and Rs 14 per sq ft for cleaning and forfeiture.

According to the government, the BBMP cannot charge service tax on these six buildings as these are government buildings wherein officers do government job, helping the people.

Criticising the move of the BBMP Commissioner, Ramalinga Reddy, Minister for Transport said, "Any government building is our building only. We have to maintain. I don't think the decision of the BBMP is correct."

Echoing Minister's sentiment, Opposition leader Basavaraj Bommai termed the decision of the commissioner absolutely wrong.

"BBMP is getting power (political) from Vidhana Soudha. Rajbhavan is governor's house and he is the constitutional authority. BBMP needs to think how to behave with a constitutional authority. They should not take steps that can put them at odds with the government".
first published:March 27, 2017, 21:57 IST