Amid revenue deficits and escalated expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic, BMC commissioner IS Chahal is all set to present the BMC Budget 2021-22 for Mumbai city today before the standing committee. As per sources the civic body is unlikely to introduce any new taxes for Mumbaikars. However, a revision of property tax is likely in mid 2021. "As per the rules, the civic body is supposed to increase the property tax rates every five years. Accordingly, the revision was due in March 2020. However, the civic Standing Committee in September 2020 differed on the hike for this fiscal. We might implement the revision of property tax rate by mid 2021. The revision will not be included in the draft civic budget," said a senior BMC official.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) hinted that the health budget outlay is likely to increase by 3 to 4 per cent vis-a-vis last year.
"The budget will mainly focus on tackling infectious disease, health infrastructure and maintaining the health data of each of the 24 administrative wards," added Kakani.
The civic body has already spent around Rs 1,600 crore this year towards its fight against Covid19. Hence this makes the health budget even more crucial this fiscal. The civic body has already approved setting up of 10 more CBSE schools in its jurisdiction last month. Therefore, budgetary provision is likely to be made in the draft budget for this.
The BMC budget 2020-21 was pegged at Rs. 33,441.02 crore, which was 8.95% more than the previous year's budget. The budget 2019-20 was pegged at Rs. 30,692.59 crore. Civic officials have hinted that the budget 2021 outlay is likely to be larger than the previous budget.
At a time when BMC is facing a massive financial crunch, its budget 2021 will prioritise expenditure in key areas such as health, education, and infrastructure-related developments such as roads. Funds will be allotted for at least one new infrastructure project. It is possible that emphasis will be on the Mumbai Municipal Health Department this year.