Uniform service, tax in fire safety draft Bill
A “ONE Fire and Emergency Service” for each state, “fire tax” on land and buildings, “fund for fire prevention and life safety” and a fee for deployment of the fire service beyond a state’s limits. These are some of the key suggestions in the Union Home Ministry’s draft Bill on fire safety, which has been sent to state governments for feedback.
The draft Bill also states that “the fire tax shall be levied in the form of a surcharge on the property tax at such rate in terms of percentage of such property tax as the Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, determine from time to time”. However, it says that no fee shall be levied on any buildings vested under the control of the government.
A fund to be known as “Fire Prevention and Life Safety Fund” for meeting any extraordinary expenditure related to firefighting and emergency management has also been proposed. For better and effective management, the draft also suggests that the state government may divide territories into fire zones, divisions and sub-divisions.