Social services


Bengal opposition to Bank-backed water tax

28 January 2003

Residents of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) area in West Bengal will be the first to pay a new tax on water. The government decided to make water a taxable commodity in 2000, as desired by the World Bank for providing a Rs 20 billion loan. Congress party leaders have said they “will protest the move to tax poor domestic users.” Planned rallies in district centres and villages will denounce the tax as “anti-poor”. The issue looks set to play a key role in May elections.