Mira-Bhayandar: Sena MLA Asks MBMC To Roll Back Water Supply Benefit Tax

Mira-Bhayandar: Sena MLA Asks MBMC To Roll Back Water Supply Benefit Tax

As per the funding pattern, the centre and state government will extend financial grant of Rs 172.24 crore and Rs 189.50 crore respectively, and remaining expense of Rs 155.04 crore will be borne by the MBMC.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Monday, April 22, 2024, 09:19 PM IST
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The local Shiv Sena unit has vehemently opposed the imposition of 10 percent as water benefit tax by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). The tax which has been incorporated in the basic property tax structure has started reflecting in current bills raised by the civic administration.

In his letter to the municipal commissioner,  Shiv Sena legislator-Pratap Sarnaik has demanded immediate roll-back of the unjustified tax imposition. “First of all, it’s completely wrong to impose such taxes as the model code of conduct is in force. Secondly, for the introduction of any such tax, provision should have been incorporated in the budget of the current financial year.

MBMC Faces Opposition And Calls For Strategic Decision Making

The MBMC should wait for the results of the Lok Sabha elections and then call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and take an appropriate decision.” said Sarnaik who also warned of launching an agitation if the tax is not rolled back immediately. Since the five-year term of the BJP-led MBMC ended in August 2022, the erstwhile municipal commissioner who in his capacity as administrator had made a similar attempt by using the position as a window to widen the tax net and improve finances by introducing 10 percent water benefit tax, last year.  However, the MBMC was forced to roll back the tax after a strong opposition by all-party leaders.

Tax Hike Proposal And Infrastructure Overhaul For Water Supply

According to the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act 1949, it is obligatory to take a final call on the tax hike proposal on or before February 20, so that the new tax structure can be incorporated in MBMC’s annual budget. On the other hand, the MBMC has to shoulder the responsibility of overhauling the entire internal pipework networking system estimated at Rs.516.78 crore to ensure smooth transition of facilitate water from the Surya Regional Water Supply Scheme which will lift water from source and channelise it to the entry point of the twin-city.

As per the funding pattern, the centre and state government will extend financial grant of Rs.172.24 crore (33.33%) and Rs.189.50 crore (36.67%) respectively, while the remaining expense of Rs.155.04 crore (30%) will be borne by the MBMC. 

Moreover, expenditures like electricity, administrative and maintenance charges have hit the roof in the past five years, leaving no other option for the MBMC  but to introduce the water benefit tax and impose inevitable hikes.  Notably, after a trivial hike in 2018, attempts to increase the tariff or impose new taxes have failed so far.

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