Mumbai: Despite Rs 33, 441 crore budget, BMC to tax garbage!

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which unveiled its Budget for 2020-21 on Tuesday with the total outlay of Rs 33,441 crore, is now planning to include tax on garbage collection to boost revenue.

According to Bloomberg, after it saw a drop in its earning due to slump in the real estate sector, the BMC now wants to include tax on garbage collection and additional levies on services such as issuing birth certificates to boost its revenue.

After facing fall in revenues, the BMC is planning to adopt innovative measures for resource mobilization. Care Ratings economists, including Madan Sabnavis, wrote in a report that, "the corporation plans to adopt innovative measures for resource mobilization. These include measures to recover outstanding dues of property tax and water tax by way of issuance of notices to defaulters, disconnection of water connections, attachments and auction of properties."

The BMC's total budget estimates for the next financial year are 8.95 per cent more than the last fiscal when it had presented a budget of Rs 30,692 crore, which was 12.5per cent higher than the 2018-19 estimates. The budget was presented in the standing committee of the civic body by BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

Though the tax structure was kept unchanged, an increase of 5 per cent is proposed in the fees for various licences, birth certificates, market licences and others. The BMC is expecting the estimated revenue of Rs 28,448.30 crores from various revenue sources in the year 2020-21, which is 13.87 per cent more as compared to Rs 24983.82 crore in FY 2019-20.

The BMC has also focused on various infrastructure projects, health services, education and other facilities, in the budget. The budgetary allocation for the ambitious Coastal Road project, which is planned to be completed in four years, has been increased by 25 per cent from Rs 1600 crore to Rs 2000 crore. The total project cost of the project stands at Rs 12,721 crore.

As per the Budget document, the BMC revenue from property tax has gone down by Rs 335 crore due to exemption of flats having carpet area upto 500 sq ft from the purview of the tax. The BMC has allocated Rs 300 crore for the Goregaon-Mulund link road project that is expected to make people's journey between Eastern and Western suburbs seamless.

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