State govt drops upper age limit of elderly from 65 to 60

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government is going to drop the upper age limit for the elderly citizens from 65 to 60 who are availing the property tax exemption up to 10 percent in various municipalities and Corporation areas.The West Bengal Municipal (second Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in the Assembly on Monday allowing the civic bodies to extend the exemption to the elderly citizens. Earlier, the state government had brought in some changes in the law to remove the financial burden on them. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeUrban Development and Municipality Affairs department will also formulate certain norms to ensure that municipalities do not collect mutation and development fees arbitrarily from the people. The department had earlier received some complaints saying that several municipalities were imposing development fees of huge sums. The department will prescribe the amount of fees for the transfer of land, building or apartment. “Through this Amendment, the state government would make uniformity in the development fees so that no civic body can collect development fees arbitrarily,” Firhad Hakim, Urban Development and Municipality Affairs told the Assembly. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe new Amendment will also empower the civic bodies to raise the amount of fine for those who often throw garbage or any other solid waste on roads. All the municipalities or Corporations will be asked to strengthen vigilance in order to maintain cleanliness. “The Bengal government has taken up the Green City project with an aim to keep our cities clean. Even the painting of buildings in blue and white was a part of the beautification drive. But in some places, people are often found dumping their garbage on the streets causing difficulties in maintaining cleanliness. To check such incidents, the amount of fine will be increased,” Hakim said in the Assembly. One has to pay a fine of anything between Rs 500 and Rs 50,000 in various municipality or Corporation areas whereas in the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), a penalty of Rs 5,000 to 1 lakh may be imposed if they throw any solid waste on the roads flouting the norms. Earlier, the amount of fine was at Rs 50. A fine of anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1 lakh would also be imposed on people for their failure to take measures for the prevention of mosquito breeding and spreading of vector-borne diseases. People are often reluctant in complying with the norms laid down by the civic body to check the spread of such diseases. Even the municipality workers sometimes are not allowed to enter houses to carry out anti-mosquito drives. Legal steps might be taken if necessary in such cases through the new Amendment. The Bill has also been framed to ease out the banking related processes for those in various municipal areas. Earlier, transactions could not have been possible in the bank that is situated outside the jurisdiction of the municipality one stays in. There is a provision in the Amendment which will allow people to transact with the banks, both nationalised and private ones, outside the jurisdiction of the municipality. The Amendment in the Bill also empowers the West Bengal Municipal Service Commission for the selection of personnel for various civic bodies. It would also exempt property tax for running government-owned hospitals and clinics.last_img

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