The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) budget for the year 2014-15 will be presented before the standing committee today. As per information in hand, this year's budget will be a "realistic" one and "only those development works which can be completed during the year will find place in the budget."
Last year, the civic administration presented a budget of Rs2,600 crore, while this time it is expected to be around Rs1,800 crore. According to sources, "Every year, the loan and subsidy components inflated the budget amount. However, this time, the administration will be presenting a realistic budget." Municipal commissioner Abasaheb Jarhad has been conducting meetings with officials of various departments since last one month.
The main sources of revenue for the Navi Mumbai civic body are local body tax, property tax and development fees taken by the town planning department. NMMC earns an annual revenue of Rs1300 crore.
However, most times rulers announce big ticket projects with a hope that they will get loan or government subsidy, consequently leading to an inflated budget. "Most times it is observed that projects announced during the budget fail to take off and as such only those projects which can be undertaken during the year are likely to be featured in the budget this time," said a source.
The main focus of the administration will be on the recovery of taxes. Last year, after local body tax came into force from April 1, the traders' community opposed paying off this tax, affecting the collection. The administration had to scale down target for LBT from Rs850 crore to Rs700 crore. The administration has already made it clear that there will be no hike in property tax this year.
The administration is likely to make provision for transit camps during this budget; while big ticket projects like the Morbe solar project is likely to find no place during this time's budget.
BJP jumps in support of FAM
Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has extended their support to traders who are agitating against local body tax (LBT) and has said "if the party comes to power it will abolish LBT." In a letter to Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM), BJP state president, Devendra Fadnavis, said, "BJP state unit has taken a serious note of LBT agitation and is of the firm opinion that LBT in present form in lieu of octroi is a regressive levy and will encourage inspector raj."