Govt order on building tax frozen

22 July 2009 Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Wedensday froze its order on building tax structure based on plinth area,after UDF Opposition members protested and alleged that government had issued the order without framing rules and bypassing the assembly.

Making an announcement in this regard in the assembly, Minister for Local Self Government Paloli Mohamed Kutty said the new tax would come into effect only after the government frames rules based on the law already passed.Replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the matter moved by the Opposition, Kutty, however rejected the Opposition contention that the new rate would be exorbitant and said government was prepared to rectify any anomalies after the assessement.The Government was in the process of framing rules, which would be ready soon, he said.

Kutty said the government had decided to implement the plinth area area based tax structure in tune with Central law in this regard and also considering the fact that local bodies were now collecting building tax on rates fixed 10 to 15 years ago.Most Local bodies were finding difficult to pay salaries from their revenue, he said. Opposition leader Oommen Chandy and Kerala Congress(M) leader K.M. Mani said the executive order on new tax structure was against the constitutional norms. The tax cannot be collect without rules, based on the executive order, he said, adding that it amounted to overlooking the rights of MLAs and also the assembly

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