BANGALORE: The paucity of funds in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is forcing the ruling council to look in every direction to generate funds; hence, the idea has now germinated to increase the tax on private halls. This decision by Yediyur corporator, NR Ramesh has left the party hall owners with frowning faces and the opposition condemning the idea outright.
Now the corporator has come up with statistics showing how BBMP can earn upto `80 crores, from this concept, and the same was taken up in the council meeting as well. “We have about 421 private halls out of which 73 charge over `2 lakh, and around 169 halls charge `1 lakh, rest charge 30,000 to 80,000, all this people were paying 1.5% to 2% as tax, but we want to increase it to 10 per cent. By doing this, the corporation will earn `60 crore, which can go towards ward development”, noted NR Ramesh. He added, “In every council meeting, the issues pertaining to financial crunch has been discussed to bail out the BBMP from debts. I will propose the subject again.”
Opposition takes a dig
But the opposition parties in the council has dubbed this idea as ‘inconvenience to the public’, and criticized, the ruling BBMP members for not doing any thing favoring the public, and unnecessarily delaying the budget, “It is not feasible, this idea would only result in taxing the public indirectly through these marriage halls, and as a responsible party in the opposition, the Janata Dal will oppose this move, and if this subject is raised in council, we will stage a walk out”, asserted Padmanabha Reddy, JDS opposition member in the BBMP council.
While the opposition Congress leader, Uday Shankar says, “The existing corporation community halls need a face lift, and by taxing the private halls, the ruling party will only add to the burden of the public. If people are not coming to our corporation halls citing cleanliness as an issue, it is not their fault”.
The private hall owners admit to tax the public and they are not too happy with the move as they will be forced to impose this burden on their customers. “We have been paying them service tax and luxury tax, if they increase the tax, we will have no other option other than taxing the public, by increasing the rates” said S Devdasan , Manager Hudson marriage complex.