Revenue in doldrums, MBMC stares at financial crisis
BL Soni

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 the woes of citizens.

MBMC had rolled out a budget amounting to more than Rs 1,600 crore. However, property tax collections amounting more than Rs 200 crore, including open land tax, outstanding 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 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 per cent. 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.

MBMC has also kept on hold payments amounting nearly Rs 40 crores, 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 de-silting operations in the twin city.

MBMC finds 34 new cases, tally surges to 488

The upward curve of COVID-19 cases continued for the third consecutive day in the twin city. According to the daily health bulletin released by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), 34 more people tested positive for the virus on Saturday, taking the total number of cases to 488. However, an equal number of patients were discharged from the designated facilities. With the latest additions, 297 people have, so far, recovered from the infection, bringing down the number of active patients to 177. Unfortunately, two more deaths were reported on Saturday, taking the total number of casualties to 14. Swab test reports of 125 people are still awaited. 14 out of the 33 positive cases are unlinked and have been reported from new areas, while 20 new patients are those who were in close contact with those who had tested positive earlier. Notably, a total of 85 patients have tested positive in less than 48 hours, heightening worries for the citizens as well as the district administration.

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