Five things that you can expect from the Mumbai civic budget today
March, 29th 2017
Mumbai civic chief Ajoy Mehta will present the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) budget for the financial year 2017-18 to the standing committee at 2pm on Wednesday. HT lists five things that Mumbaiites can expect from the mega-budget:
1. The budget will be tighter, this year. The civic chief is likely to take some stern steps to bring down the budget to a more realistic level from last year’s Rs37,000 crore. The budget for major departments like roads and storm water drains is expected to be slashed to one-third the original.
2. Top officials have said that the budget is likely to be Development Plan (DP) 2034-oriented, with prominence given to development of social amenities already in possession with the municipality. The allocation for DP is estimated to be around Rs5,000 crore.
3. Major allocations will continue to be for projects like the coastal road, connecting south Mumbai to the western suburbs, the Goregaon-Mulund link road, the sewage treatment plants (STPs) to treat waste water and the Gargai-Pinjal and Damanganga projects to augment water supply in the city.
4. As the BMC is set to lose its octroi revenue of Rs7,000 crores starting July 1, with the goods and services tax (GST) coming into effect, the civic body is likely to hike its non-tax revenue by increasing charges on services, rent for BMC-leased plots and penalties. The good news for citizens is that a direct tax increase is unlikely.
5. The budget will emphasise on administrative reforms, including e-office initiatives, biometric-attendance for BMC employees, online services for citizens and businesses and an integrated healthcare system for civic patients.