If you are clueless about how and where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spends the amount that it collects as various taxes from your hard-earned money, then here's the answer to it.
The BMC spends all the taxes collected from citizens on different establishment expenses, administrative expenses, operation and maintenance cost and other such related overheads. The 2014-15 budget of Rs31178.19 crore speaks volumes about the kind of money being pumped into the salaries of 1.08 lakh civic staff and maintenance of the civic body's equipment and machinery.
The biggest source of revenue for BMC is octroi followed by development fund collected from builders developing new buildings. Property tax has also become a major source of revenue since the civic body has started collecting capital value-based property tax.
Water bills, license fees and receipts from hospitals and medical colleges, solid waste management charges, supervision charges and several such other receipts earn the corporation Rs 22111.97 crore. This amount is used up to meet the administrative and establishment cost to run the day-to-day civic affairs in the city.
For infrastructure projects the civic body depends on loans, grants, special funds and contribution from development funds, accumulated surplus, receipts from premium of lands and buildings and a portion from contribution from revenue account. This amount is Rs11,056.29 crore which will be used as capital expenditure and put to use for various services directly related to citizens.
The capital expenditure segment includes traffic operation, roads and bridges, storm water drains, solid waste management and transport, health, water supply, sewage disposal, fire brigade and disaster management, information technology, markets and Deonar abattoir, repairs of municipal properties and slum improvement, repairs of primary school building and other expenses.
Asked about the huge gap between revenue expenditure and capital expenditure, BMC's chief accountant Ram Dhas said that the steady income from taxes is used for the upkeep of the civic administration, salaries of the staff and other operational and maintenance cost. "BMC is a service industry. The salaries are paid to people who serve the city — conservancy staff, teachers, doctors and nurses. There are 75,000 employees who are directly related to the citizens. Above all this, BMC pays pension to 1 lakh people," said Dhas.
He added that the education department is a totally service-oriented segment, and it earns nothing. "But providing free education is our duty," he said.