LUCKNOW: Reeling under financial crunch due to the pandemic, Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has proposed cuts in some development projects, including road repair and streetlights, in its 2021-22 budget.
The proposals will be tabled for approval in the executive committee meeting chaired by mayor Sanyukta Bhatia on Sunday. Thereafter, the financial statement will be placed for debate in LMC House later this month.
According to LMC, the 2021-22 budget proposes total expenditure of Rs 1,932 crore, Rs 118 crore less as compared to 2020-21. The revenue has been estimated to be around Rs 1,937, about Rs 116 crore less than the current financial year that ends in March.
Officials said the impact of the pandemic is expected to continue in 2021-22 which means that earnings will decline. The drop in revenue has been mainly because LMC could not auction its parking lots and low collection of property tax and rent due to restrictions.
The civic body had set a target of Rs 410 crore property tax collection in 2020-21 but could collect only Rs 292 crore. Officers said since the income of many people dropped during the pandemic, they could not pay taxes.
LMC gave relaxations on humanitarian grounds due to which projection for tax collection in 2021-22 has also been revised and pegged at Rs 300 crore, instead of Rs 410 crore.
Other sources of revenue cited by LMC are municipal bonds (Rs 50 crore), pet registrations and penalty (Rs 6 crore), auction of parking lots (Rs 15 crore), user charges for facilities like garbage collection (Rs 36 crore), rent and sales of housing and commercial units (Rs 100 crore), funds under Swachh Bharat Mission and AMRUT (Rs 25 crore) and central government grant (Rs 26 crore). LMC also expects to get Rs 174 crore from the 15th finance commission.
As a result, major cuts have been proposed. Among others, the Awasthapana Nidhi, used for miscellaneous development activities, has been drastically cut from from Rs 30 crore to just Rs 1 lakh.