Nagpur: Municipal commissioner Radhakrishnan B on Wednesday presented Rs2,608 crore draft budget for 2021-22. He has revised budgetary estimates of the current fiscal and brought it down to Rs2,433.62 crore against former standing committee Vijay Zalke’s budget of Rs2,731 crore. Then municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe had projected NMC’s income of Rs2,547 crore for the current financial year.
The municipal commissioner has also kept all taxes untouched, so there will be no additional burden on the common man. Radhakrishnan did not suggest any new revenue source, which means the civic body will have to continue with precarious finances and be dependent on government grants.
The municipal commissioner’s budget, which appeared quite realistic, will come into effect from April 1. Standing committee chairman Prakash Bhoyar will present his budget probably in May or later, which will supersede Radhakrishnan’s budget. The standing panel chief’s budget is the same as the one presented by the civic chief, but includes some new projects and a hike in prospective revenue and expenditure assuming a huge grant from the state government.
Radhakrishnan’s budget said NMC will earn Rs2,608.14 crore in the next financial year, which is Rs123 crore less than what was projected by the standing committee chief last year. As compared to the current financial year, it is a hike of just Rs174.52 crore.
Despite being a local self-government, this year too NMC will continue to rely a lot on government grants. In projected income for the next financial year, Radhakrishnan expected Rs1,722.69 crore (66%) of the projected revenue from government grants while it will spend Rs806 crore on establishment.
The civic chief’s budget has shown expectations of Rs332.48 crore revenue from property tax, Rs195 crore from water tax and Rs106.87 crore from town planning department. He has actually laid more focus on improving property and water tax collections.
In this financial year, NMC had spent almost Rs10 crore for strengthening medical infrastructure and manpower at its hospitals. In next financial year too, NMC’s priority will be to continue to provide free RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests to the citizens. Besides, funds will also be spent for providing free medicines to Covid-19 patients, said the municipal commissioner.
Though no new development projects have been announced, Radhakrishnan said NMC will develop a rose garden, butterfly garden, adventure park and Miyawaki garden as announced by Zalke. His budget focuses on making city air pollution free as he earmarked Rs1.92 crore for developing greenery on road dividers across the city.
Municipal commissioner has stressed the need to curb pilferage in Aapli Bus ticket revenue and announced that NMC will introduce conductor-less ticketing technique in city buses, which will automatically increase revenue from public transport. Though NMC has mooted a proposal to hand over the entire city bus operation to MahaMetro, the civic chief has earmarked Rs108 crore for Aapli Bus.
The civic chief’s budget gives thrust on funding ongoing projects like cement roads, malls etc. He has also kept Rs1 crore for NMC’s share to MahaMetro for Metro Rail project. Rs15 crore has been earmarked for Nag River project.
The civic chief announced a 10% rebate for taxpayers if they pay property tax before June 30 of the next financial year. They will get 10% rebate in general tax. 5% rebate will be given to those who pay their tax before December 31, the commissioner said. NMC is also planning to introduce QR code in property tax payments.