With an eye on election, Shiv Sena was keen to play it safe and don’t impose any major burden of taxes on Mumbaikars.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta presented the budget of Rs 37,052 crore for 2016-17 to the standing committee. This year’s budget is crucial for the Shiv-Sena BJP alliance which rules the nation’s richest civic body taking into consideration the next year’s municipal corporation election in the city. With an eye on election Sena was keen to play it safe and don’t impose any major burden of taxes on Mumbaikars.
The civic body has already received flak for using only 25% of the total funds meant for developmental project in the city. Mehta has projected octroi collections of Rs 6,850 crore compared to Rs 7,500 crore in 2015-16, Rs 4,956.18 crore from property tax, Rs 1,244.34 crore from water and sewage tax, Rs 2,400 crore worth subsidies and Rs 6,284 crore from the development planning department. The budget for 2015-16 was Rs.33,514.15 crore. Some cost cutting measures have been adopted by the BMC in this year’s budget to curtail the fiscal deficit. Sena might heave a sigh of relief as the commissioner has not imposed any new taxes in this year’s budget.
There is a proposal to hike octroi duty on crude oil to 4.5% from the current level of 3% to offset the losses incurred due to decline in oil prices. A BMC official hinted that Mumbaikars might have to shell out more money for fuel due to increase in octroi duty on crude oil. On the other hand octroi duty on ethanol has been waived to pave way for centre’s directive to promote green energy.
The civic body was expecting a revenue of Rs.7,900 crore budget as octroi collection in 2015-16, but the department could earn only Rs.5,230. The fall or the deficit in octroi was due to the fall in the international prices in crude oil and the commission BMC earns on per barrel rate.
A budgetary provision of Rs 1,000 crore has been proposed for the completion of the Mumbai Coastal Road project, followed by Rs130 crore for the suburban link road project. The centre has already given a nod for the construction of coastal road. A provision of 130 crore has been made for the east-west connector Goregaon-Mulund Link Road and Rs 2,806.80 crore for city roads. The civic body has made an allocation of Rs 12,874 crore for capital expenditure on a number of development projects like construction of roads, storm water drains and water projects.
The BMC has proposed Rs 10 crore as its share towards smart city project. Mumbai did not figure in the list of 20 smart cities declared last week by the Centre. A budgetary allocation of Rs323.56 crores has been made for implementing various initiatives by Information Technology (IT) department.
Highlights of budget
Proposal to hike octroi on crude oil from 3% to 4.5%
Allocation of Rs 1000 crore for coastal road project
Rs 130 crore for Goregaon-Mulund link road project
Rs 2,806.80 crores for road development projects
Rs 2,394.10 crore for education department
Allocation of Rs 3,693.24 crore proposed for health department