GOING all out to impress voters in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced that penalty tax on unauthorised constructions has been waived by his government. He also announced that all illegal constructions will be legalised, a issue which has been raging for several years now. The NCP described the announcements as violation of poll code and said it will take up the issue with State Election Commission.
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Producing a copy of the government resolution, the CM said, “The GR could not be uploaded on January 11 when it was issued due to technical reasons and after that the poll code came into force. That’s why I am showing you this copy,” he told the huge gathering which had turned up at Chinchwad.
Comparing the penalty tax to “sultan kar” or a tax levied by ruthless kings centuries back, Fadnavis said the NCP government had imposed the tax on hapless citizens. “Our government had eased the nightmare of the poor,” he said. The penalty tax waiver will benefit 60,000 residents, he added.
PCMC officials said over Rs 250 crore penalty tax is due from citizens which will be a loss to the civic body. The CM said his government has taken a policy decision to legalise the illegal constructions. “The plan has been submitted to the high court and the government was expecting its approval…,” he said.
The Chief Minister, however, added that in future, if anybody carries out illegal constructions, he will face jail term.
NCP was quick to pounce upon the announcements made by CM as violations of poll code. “In the midst of elections, the government cannot announce such policy decisions…We will complain to the State Election Commission or may even approach the court,” said NCP leader Yogesh Behl.
However BJP president Laxman Jagtap said the CM produced the copy of GR because some political parties were alleging that the government has not taken any such decision related to penalty tax.
Launching BJP’s poll campaign, CM urged the voters to throw out the corrupt NCP regime. “Once we come to power we will launch probes into all the corruption cases…we will not spare anybody,” he said, adding that PCMC, which was “once a crorepati civic body has been reduced to roadpati due to inefficiency and corruption”.
Fadnavis said his government has approved the development plan of Pune city in less than one year. “However during the NCP-Congress regime it remained pending for years for obvious reasons…they wanted to make money by changing reservations to suit some people,” he said. The CM said in the last two years, his government has approved 70 development plans of civic bodies in Maharashtra. The CM said he was confident that BJP will capture both PMC and PCMC and bring about all round development.