Backing the decision by the KMC to waive property tax for residential buildings painted in blue and white in West Bengal, a state minister on Wednesday said an amendment should be passed by Assembly if the provision for reduction in taxes did not exist in the municipal body's legislation.
Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said that if the provision for reduction in taxes did not exist in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, an amendment had to be passed in the Assembly before the waiver of taxes came into force.
His department was, however, yet to receive any documents pertaining to the decision by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation for ratification, the minister said in his reply to a question in the Assembly.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to waive property tax for one year for residential buildings painted in blue and white in the city which has also attracted criticism from opposition parties.
The minister claimed that this scheme was part of the state government's programme to make Kolkata a 'city of blue'.
The colour blue symbolised anti-depression and would make city dwellers healthy and the city would look nicer, Hakim said.
The minister also asked members about their views, whether blue-white coloured houses would look nicer or ones painted in dull colours.
On June 9, the Mayoral Council of KMC decided to promote the colour as the state government has painted all its properties white and blue.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee had said the decision would bring uniformity in the colour scheme of buildings in Kolkata, but it would not be binding on house owners.
Commercial buildings would not be granted the waiver, he said.
Housing minister Aroop Biswas said that work was in progress to paint twenty Youth Hostels and 37 rental Housing Estates under his department in blue and white.
Road dividers, flyovers, police stations, the new secretariat have already turned blue and white after the Mamata Banerjee government took over.
Almost the entire city of Kolkata is painted blue and white as the colours happen to be the favourites of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee; Photograph: Noor Islam