Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Explained: Rs 6,000 crore toll tax ‘scam’ in Delhi’s MCD

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Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, wrote to Lieutenant-Governor V K Saxena on Wednesday, requesting that the Central Bureau of Investigation investigate the alleged Rs 6,000 crore toll tax scandal in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused the MCD of colluding with two toll corporations, resulting in a massive loss to the public purse. Sisodia said that 10 lakh commercial cars enter Delhi every day and that tax is paid but does not reach the MCD.

Process of collecting MCD tax

Commercial trucks entering Delhi must pay an Environment Compliance Certificate of between Rs 700 and Rs 1,400, as well as a toll of between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000, depending on size and type. The MCD is in charge of collecting tolls in Delhi. Toll tax collections are administered by private contractors that make payments to the local authority based on open tenders.

RFID toll collecting systems have been established at 13 key entrance points of Delhi’s 124 border crossings, which are utilised by about 80-85 percent of commercial vehicle traffic entering the city.

Every day, 10 lakh commercial cars from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and other neighbouring towns use the 124 routes to access the national capital, according to the AAP.

Delhi toll tax scam: The Allegation by AAP

Sisodia has accused MCD of a Rs 6,000 crore fraud in toll tax collecting.

He stated that the MCD granted a tender to a private business in 2017 for toll tax collection, and the contract required the company to pay the MCD Rs 1,200 crore per year. “The corporation paid the whole amount to MCD in the first year, but has subsequently stopped paying the collected tax to the civic agency in collusion with MCD.” “The corporation should have revoked the contract, banned the firm, and issued a tender to a new company four years ago, but has done nothing,” he stated.

Sisodia further claimed that in 2021, the MCD granted the offer to the former company’s sibling organisation for a lower price. “The corporation was awarded Rs 83 crores relaxation due to the epidemic,” he added.

MCD’s Defence

According to the local authority, the contract was issued to the abovementioned business in 2017 for Rs 1,206 crore per annum for five years. After receiving the contract, the corporation claimed that it experienced losses as a result of opening the Eastern and Western Peripherals, and filed a High Court lawsuit.

According to a senior MCD official, the court ordered officials to cease collecting tolls from the free lane, and the corporation sought compensation for the purported loss.

“MCD had multiple rounds of discussions to address the situation, and when the firm failed to make necessary payments, the contract was cancelled,” the official added.

“At the moment, MCD has commenced processes for attachment of the company’s properties.” “All legal proceedings have been filed against the corporation, and the case is currently pending in the High Court,” the spokesman stated.

What is the source of the recent political conflict between the AAP and the Delhi L-G?

The L-G of Delhi has recently suspended numerous Delhi government employees, charging them with corruption. Last Monday, L-G Saxena authorised the suspension and beginning of disciplinary procedures against 11 excise department personnel, including the then-excise commissioner, for “severe violations” in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

With its new claims, the AAP appears to be reminding the L-G that, although he is taking action against Delhi government employees, he has been disregarding complaints against the MCD, which appears to be corrupt.

Also Read: Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia seeks CBI probe over Delhi liquor policy

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