The Municipal Commissioner of Bombay has placed his budget proposals for the year 1961-62 before the corporation’s standing committe. If these are sanctioned, as indeed they are likely to be, the corporation wil be in a happy budgetary position. For, after taking into account the state Government’s promise to write off Rs.115 lakhs accuring from the Urban inmmovable property tax in favour of the corporation, the budget , despite the unaviodable defecit due to mounting expenditure, will actually show a surplus. But for this windfall of Rs 115 lakhs the corporation budget (for the city, suburbs and extended suburbs) would have shown a deficit of Rs. 78.24 lakhs. The present surplus of Rs 36.76 lakhs is a sizable amount for the corporation which has never known what is to have a surplust budget in the past decade and over. The commissioner, Shri Pimputkar, has wisely refrained from providing for further expenditure out of this additional source of revenue. Instead, he promises that “proposals for development schemes and better amenities to the rate payers which were hitherto held over for want of funds will be brought before the corporation in due course.” The citizen will surely welcome this as they will the absence of any proposals for fresh taxation.
The Muncipal Commissioner deserves to be warmly congratulated on his proposals in respect of education. The total outlay is of the order of Rs 296 lakhs, which is Rs 63 lakhs more than the budgeted expenditure for the current year. This is sought to be covered by the state’s Government’s grant which is expected to be more than the current year’s handout of Rs 15 lakhs, and a special contribution is made possible mainly by improvement in the collection of taxes since shri Pimputkar took over. Allthough the budget proposals are an elaborate and intelligent easy in the planning of civic expenditure, the rate payer is not likely to be impressed by it. The way he sees it, the city, suburbs and extended suburbs which together constitute the bailiwick of the corporation are in dire need of both face-lift and general toning up. The muncipal commissioner himself is acutely aware of these facts although one cannot be quite sure about the awareness of the corporators. It is to be hoped that the latter will extend their wholehearted cooperation to the commissioner in implenting his plans for the improvement of the city.
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