The AAP on Tuesday accused the North Delhi Municipal Corporation of exempting a property owned by Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel of taxes to the amount of Rs 25 crore, saying the move will prove to be an economic burden on the already cash-strapped civic body.

Addressing a news conference, AAP's Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey alleged the decision was initially taken to benefit the heritage building owned by Goel in Old Delhi, but similar concessions were later extended to 749 other buildings in the area, which will result in losses to the tune of around Rs 2,500 crore.

A file photo of Haveli Dharampura | Source: Haveli Dharampura

"The benefit was earlier extended to one building owned by Goel. However, when there was a hue and cry, 749 other buildings of the area were given similar tax exemption. How can the MCD which is already reeling under losses, has no money to pay salaries to its employees, take such a step?", he said.

"Vijay Goel has misused his position as a minister. This is not only a case of economic corruption, but also moral and political corruption and he should immediately step down," Pandey said.

He further asked why should this case not be treated as an economic offence and a case not be registered against him.

"Till the time the probe is not over, Goel should not only step down as minister, but also resign as a Rajya Sabha MP," Pandey added.

The haveli before restoration | Source: Haveli Dharampura

The 19th-century haveli is located at Dharampura in Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk area. It was recently restored to turn it into a heritage site and is owned by his son Siddhant Goel, reports India Today.

Meanwhile, Goel rubbished all the allegations and has said that his property got an exemption only because it was the first to be restored.

“There are roughly 300 heritage buildings in the north Delhi area. Of these, 50 are residences and old havelis. Fifty per cent of these are in a dilapidated condition and restoration work has not begun. The speculation that the proposal is causing a struggling north Corporation a loss of Rs 25 crore is baseless,” Goel told the Indian Express.

(With inputs from PTI)