UT objects to House-approved municipal cess on power usage

Secy, Local Govt, seeks ‘fresh & clear’ proposal

Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 11

The Secretary, Local Government (SLG)-cum-Home Secretary, UT, has raised several objections to the proposed imposition of municipal cess on consumption of power and sought a justification.

The General House of the MC had approved the cess of around 2 per cent per unit. The cash-starved civic body had hoped of earning Rs 10-17 crore per annum with the levy.

Finding the MC proposal as well as subsequent queries “incomplete”, the SLG sought “the justification for imposing cess in place of tax along with relevant provisions of rules under which it will be levied”.

“It may be clarified as to why two different terms, tax and cess, are used in the proposal. Can it be imposed under the provision? It may also be clarified whether the Punjab Electricity (Duty) Act, 1958, is applicable to the UT or any other set of rules are followed by the UT Electricity Department,” the SLG asked in a communication to the MC Commissioner.

The Administration has asked the civic body to send a “fresh and clear” proposal in this regard.

“The cess on electricity is not as per the rules,” said an official of the UT Administration.

A senior MC official, however, said the cess would be of a small amount of around 10 paise per unit of power consumed.

“It is a long process to clear the proposal. There are many levels where it would come up for approval. After the UT Administration, we will also have to send it to the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission. It is important to implement it in view of the sagging financial position of the corporation,” he added.

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