Property tax hike was inevitable, says Stalin

: Chief Minister M K Stalin today justified the recent property tax hike, saying the government took the decision left with no other option.

Speaking on the first day of the Assembly session, he said, ‘the decision (to increase property tax) was taken with a heavy heart since it was inevitable.’

He said local bodies across the State were facing revenue deficit and hence, tax increase was essential. The Chief Minister sought the cooperation of people and the Opposition parties.

Meanwhile, reading out a statement under Rule 110 of the House, the Chief Minister said Rs 6,100 crore worth MoUs were signed during his recent Dubai trip. ‘Poll promises are being implemented in a phased manner,’ he said and added a working committee will be formed on investments and his Dubai trip was only to attract investments and provide employments to youngsters.

The principal Opposition AIADMK and the BJP today staged walkout from the Assembly, refusing to accept the CM’s explanation on property tax hike.

Speaking to the media, Leader of Opposition and AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami the Centre did not make property tax hike mandatory and urged the State government to withdraw its decision since people are suffering because of it.

The Budget session of the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly resumed today morning.

During the 22-day session, which will last till 10 May, the demand for
grants for various departments will be taken up followed by replies from the Ministers concerned.

The demand for grants for Water Resources department was taken up today, followed by the other departments in the subsequent days.

The demand for grant for the police department will be taken up on 7 May to mark the completion of one year rule of the DMK and Stalin will replay to the debate on 9 May.

The Budget session of the Assembly started on 18 March with the presentation of General budget by Finance Minister PTR Palanivel
Thiagarajan followed by the tabling of Agriculture Budget by Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam on 19 March.

After a four-day session from 21 March, during which the debate on the budget took place, both the Ministers gave their replies and the session was adjourned on 25 March.

The session is expected to be stormy, with the Opposition parties planning to raise various issues, including the property tax hike, NEET, law and order and the recent raids on AIADMK leaders,
besides various issues concerning the State.

Ahead of the Assembly session, Stalin held review meetings with various departments at the State Secretariat.

Official sources said during the meeting the Chief Minister reviewed the announcements made during the demand for grants last year, including those made under Rule 110 in the Assembly. He also discussed the announcements to be made during the upcoming session.