MCD Elections: In Another Big Poll Promise, Arvind Kejriwal Says Will Abolish Residential House Tax

Mr Kejriwal said that the house tax has become a source of corruption and promised to end it. (PTI)

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will abolish the residential house tax and waive-off arrears if voted to power in the capital's civic bodies. His words resonated promises of cutting electricity and water bills  ahead of Delhi assembly elections which AAP swept last year.

Mr Kejriwal said that the house tax has become a "major" source of corruption and promised that his AAP, which is making its civic polls debut, will end it.

He vowed to transform the three civic corporations in Delhi - South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) - into "profit-making" bodies. NDMC and EDMC are currently grappling with financial losses.

Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, the Chief Minister said its councillors could be seen travelling on scooters before the previous MCD elections, but are now zooming around in expensive cars.

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He also promised that the AAP will ensure that municipal staffers get their salaries on time. "We will abolish the residential house tax and waive off tax arrears if AAP comes to power...the party is preparing its detailed manifesto which will be released soon," he told reporters here.

The residential house tax is an important source of revenue for civic bodies. Mr Kejriwal added that the commercial house tax will continue to be in place. To a question on allegations by political rivals that the AAP always announces freebies ahead of the polls, he said the Delhi government is saving money on its projects which is then spent on public welfare.

The three municipal corporations go to polls on April 23, while votes will be counted on April 26.