With revenue generation hitting rock bottom owing to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) alike various other civic bodies across the state is staring at a huge financial crisis with its coffers set to get near-empty next month.
Local political parties have demanded relaxations and even waiving off taxes to ease woes of citizens. The MBMC had rolled out a budget amounting more than Rs.1,600 crore. However, property tax collections amounting more than Rs.200 crore including open land tax, outstanding’s and recovery through penal tax continue to occupy a lion’s share in the civic ledger.
This followed by other heads like development charges, and government grants which augment revenue generation for the civic body. Since the imposition of the lockdown, the rate of recovery in terms of property tax collection has remained stagnant at around 75 percent. While other resources have completely dried up for the past couple of months, payment of salaries and other committed expenditure is pegged at around Rs. 28 crore every month.
“We have managed to clear the wages of April and the remaining funds will be used next month, following which things will become critical on the financial front, unless there is government support,” confirmed a senior civic officer.
The MBMC has also kept payment amounting nearly Rs. 40 crores on hold which was overdue to contractors and vendors linked to various civic departments. Priority has been given to tag funds amounting Rs. 3 crore for payments towards pre-monsoon desilting operations in the twin-city.