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Markets shut in Delhi as Traders protest against sealing drive

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PC: HT

New Delhi, Jan 23: Major Markets across the national capital remain shut on Tuesday as the Confederation of All India Traders along with AAP’s trade wing called for a shutdown to protest against the sealing and demolition drive of unauthorised shop constructions.

All key wholesale and retail markets, including Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Chawri Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Kashmiri Gate, Khari Baoil, Naya Bazar, Bhagirath Palace, Paharganj, Rajouri Garden, Jail Road, Rohini, Ashok Vihar and Pitampura remained completely closed and wore a deserted look as no commercial activity took place.

Other markets which observed the “bandh” include Lajpat Nagar, South Extension, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash,Green Park, Khan Market, Kirti Nagar, Patel Nagar, Naraina, Uttam Nagar, Vikaspuri, Kalkaji, Tughlaqabad, Yusuf Sarai, Vikas Marg, Mandawali, Gandhi Nagar, Shahdara, Bhajanpura, Jagatpuri, Mayur Vihar, Preet Vihar and Shradhanand Marg.

As per the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), more than seven lakh traders belonging to more than 2,000 trade associations across the city joined in the “Delhi Trade Bandh” against the sealing in the city, which they said is in violation of statutory provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

“The protesting traders are demanding immediate intervention of the government in the matter of sealing as the basic fundamentals of MCD Act, 1957 have been snatched away from the traders and sealing is being conducted in a dictatorial manner under the guise of Supreme Court order,” news agency IANS qouted citing Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of CAIT, said in a statement.

“The traders are demanding the government to protect traders from sealing by bringing an ordinance, an ‘Amnesty Scheme’ on building and commercial activities on ‘as is where is basis’ as on December 31, 2017, notifying 351 roads as commercial or mix land use and increase in FAR (floor area ratio) to protect additional construction,” he asserted.

Khandelwal further said that the local shopping centres were given on commercial rates and now conversion charge was being demanded and sealing conducted without giving any notice, which cannot be justified.

“The entire sealing proceedings are being run in a dictatorial manner keeping aside the MCD Act,1957,” Khandelwal stated.

The sealing and demolition drive, is being conducted by a Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee against business establishments using residential properties for commercial purposes.

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Rs 1,752 cr disbursed to 3 MCDs till Oct 26: Sisodia

Sisodia said the Delhi government paid MCDs their due share of taxes, but it has also paid a large sum over and above as loan.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi: Amid war of words over unpaid dues of healthcare workers in the hospitals run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday wrote a scathing letter to three Mayors of MCDs alleging petty politics by them over the issue of delayed salaries to healthcare workers.

Sisodia claimed that it’s the MCD which owes money to the Delhi government.

The three Mayors had earlier protested in front of the CM’s residence claiming a large amount of balance payment from Delhi government to the MCDs.

Countering the claims made by the Mayors, Sisodia presented facts showing that not only had Delhi government paid all the funds due to the MCDs as per the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission, it has paid over and above the required amount resulting in a huge outstanding loans.

“As for the amount owed by the government of Delhi to the MCDs for the current financial (2020-21), as per the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission calculations, a total of Rs 1965.91 crore was due until October 26, 2020, of which Rs 1752.61 crore has already been paid,” Sisodia wrote in the letter.

“MCDs have outstanding loans from Delhi government to the tune of Rs 6008 crore, they also have arrears of Rs 2596 crore to the Delhi Jal Board. Hence, in all, they owe over Rs 8600 crore to the Delhi government,” said the letter.

Sisodia urged the three Mayors to rise above petty politics and focus on the real issue of corruption and financial mismanagement in each of the three MCDs. He urged the Mayors to demand the unpaid amount of Rs 12,000 crore from the Central government.

“I am writing this letter with much anguish and disappointment over your actions as the three Mayors of Delhi (NDMC, EDMC, SDMC) with regard to the unpaid salaries of doctors and healthcare workers in MCD hospitals.

“From your actions, it is clear that rather than finding a viable solution to the matter using all administrative options available to the MCDs, you are only interested in peddling lies and indulging in shameful politics over this issue.

“In the process, you have caused unprecedented pain to the families of thousands of healthcare workers and lowered the prestige of the national capital at a time when the entire country has united in the fight against Corona,” the letter said.

Sisodia said the Delhi government paid MCDs their due share of taxes, but it has also paid a large sum over and above as loan.

As on April 1, 2020, a total of Rs 6,008 crore loan is outstanding from the three MCDs, as per the records of the Urban Development Department. This includes Rs 1,977 crore outstanding loan from EDMC, Rs 3,243 crore from NDMC and Rs 788 crore from SDMC.

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Maharashtra extends ongoing Covid-19 lockdown till November 30

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Lockdown in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government on Thursday extended the ongoing lockdown by another month as cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continue to rise in the state. It will now remain in effect till November 30, officials said.

The government issued a statement about the same and said, “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the powers, conferred under The Disaster Management Act. 2005. the undersigned, in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, hereby issues directions that the guidelines issued vide orders dated 30’h September, 2020 and 14° October. 2020 to operationalize MISSION BEGIN AGAIN for casing of restrictions and phase-wise opening, will remain in force till 30th November 2020 for containment of COVID- I 9 epidemic in the State and all Departments of Government of Maharashtra shall strictly implement these guidelines.”

“The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned with this order and shall remain in force up to 30th November, 2020.”

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Failing to pay property tax by Oct 31 may land Gurugram property owners in trouble

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.

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tax

Gurugram: Property owners in Gurugram can lose their water and sewage connections if they fail to clear their property tax dues by October 31, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) said on Wednesday.

According to the MCG officials, as per the notification issued by the Haryana government, only three days are left to avail the benefit of exemption in the payment of property tax issued by the MCG.

According to the notification, the government is giving an interest waiver and 25 per cent rebate to those paying their entire property tax dues by October 31.

“We have given a last opportunity to the property owners to pay their dues within the next three days. If they still do not pay their property tax, the process of cutting their sewer and drinking water connections will be initiated by the civic authority from November 1,” MCG Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said.

“A special drive to seal commercial buildings will be carried out and the process of auction can also be adopted by sealing the building,” he added.

As per the government notification, property owners who deposit their entire outstanding property tax by October 31 will be given a 25 per cent exemption on property tax from 2010-11 to 2016-17.

“Property owners who have deposited their property tax in the last three years till October 31, will be given an additional 10 per cent rebate along with the regular 10 per cent rebate. Those paying by auto debit mode will get the benefit of an additional 5 per cent discount,” an MCG official said.

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.

The officials further informed that the civic body has also started an incentive scheme for all the resident welfare associations (RWAs) of the city. Municipal corporations will give an incentive amount of Rs 5 lakh to the RWAs which submit property tax of more than 80 per cent.

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