Group opposes govt’s move to abolish house tax in all VPs


Claiming that abolishing house tax in all village panchayats across the state would violate several articles of the Constitution of India and Section 153 (1) of the Goa Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, NGO Madkai Rashtrahita Manch (MRM) opposed the state government's decision.
The government on January 16 had notified the draft rules to impose house tax of only 1 on all residential houses in Goa and called for public suggestions within 15 days. This is part of the BJP's pre-election promise to abolish house tax in all village panchayats.
The MRM believes that abolition of house tax would affect the independent affairs of village panchayats that serve as local self-governing bodies. Panchayats have been empowered to levy/impose, collect such tax, MRM's D B Naik noted in his objection submitted to the director of panchayats.
He mentioned that the states are obligated by the Constitution under Article 243-I to constitute a finance commission to improve the financial position of the panchayats. Abolishing tax would violate this, Naik said.
The group has, in fact, demanded that the government increase the house tax by 10% instead of abolishing it. [TOI]