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Debt-ridden MC faces paucity of fundsThe Municipal Corporation Bathinda has various outstanding loans to the tune of crores. Photo: Vijay Kumar

Debt-ridden MC faces paucity of funds

25 Jun 2017 | 12:03 AM

BATHINDA: The debt-ridden MCB is facing an acute financial crisis as last month its expenditure was more than its income.

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Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 24

The debt-ridden MCB is facing an acute financial crisis as last month its expenditure was more than its income. The condition is such that the MCB did not even have any fund for development work because of which even the salaries of MCB officials for next month might get delayed.

As per the MCB records, the income of the civic body in May 2017 was Rs 9.35 crore, whereas its expenditure was Rs 11.41 crore. All this led to a state where the MCB did not have funds left for development works in the city.

In May 2017, the expenses on salary were Rs 5.41 crore, non-committed expenses were Rs 27.39 lakh and committed expenses were Rs 5.76 crore.

The MCB gets Rs 5.25 crore by way of value added tax (VAT) every month, of which Rs 1.11 crore gets cut in pension contribution and Rs 2 crore goes out as installment of a HUDCO loan.

The MCB has various outstanding loans which it has to return as it had taken Rs 105 crore in loan from HUDCO and Rs 52.45 crore in loan from Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). The MCB also has to give Rs 183 crore for 100 per cent sewerage and water supply project and it even has to give Rs 11 crore for development works which are to be undertaken with municipal funds.

The financial condition of the MCB is such that it has Rs 11 crore for regularization charges, but there is no direction from the state government on spending the money. So, further step can only be taken after receiving directions from the government in this regard.

It also has Rs 3 crore by way of cow cess, but this money can only be spent on gaushalas. It also has Rs 4 crore in account but this amount has been kept as advance by HUDCO.

The financial condition of the MCB is such that they do not have funds for 100 per cent sewerage and water supply project and they do not even have funds to pay their loan installments.

To deal with this situation, the MCB had initiated a few remedial steps to increase its income: the property tax department has started issuing notices in bulk to the defaulters to recover the outstanding tax amount and there are around 40,000 defaulting units who have not paid the tax even once.

The property tax wing has issued around 2,800 notices in Zone II last week and is now ready with another 600 notices which are to be sent in a day or so to another zone.

The work on water and sewerage bill recovery has also been initiated.

Municipal Commissioner Sanyam Aggarwal said, “We are trying to increase our source of income due to which we have taken steps to recover our outstanding property tax, sewerage and water bills. We will also increase our income from the advertisements, which is our major source of income.”

Mayor Balwant Rai Nath said the MCB has started showing strictness in the recovery of water and sewerage bill and that the condition will soon improve.

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Snippets

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