Shimla MC presents budget of Rs 222.4 cr

Enhancing cess on power, liquor proposed

Shimla MC presents budget of Rs 222.4 cr

Shimla Mayor Satya Kaundal and Deputy Mayor Shailender Chauhan present the Budget in Shimla on Thursday. Photo: Amit kanwar

Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 25

Shimla Municipal Corporation has proposed to enhance electricity cess from 10 paise per unit to 20 paise per unit and raise the cess on liquor bottle from Rs 2 to Rs 5 in its annual budget presented here today.

Stating that corporation’s financial health was not satisfactory and it needed to find ways to increase its revenue, Mayor Satya Kaundal presented a budget of Rs 222.41 crore, around Rs 3 crore less than last year’s budget. The estimated expenditure is Rs 24.46 lakh less compared to the estimated income.

Levying green tax on vehicles entering Shimla from other states, seeking a grant of Rs 16 crore from the government as compensation for letting go the income from water and sewerage, resumption of stamp duty on the registration of real estate and review of rent and lease of its properties are some of the other measures proposed in the budget to enhance its revenue.

“Many projects could not be executed because of the pandemic last year. Effort has been made in this budget to get those going,” said the Mayor.

For development works like maintenance of roads, pathways, railing, parkings, toilets and the construction of parks, playgrounds and houses under Rajeev Awas Yojna and works under AMRUT Mission, Rs 112 crore has been earmarked.

The councillors affiliated to the Congress, however, felt that the budget was a classic case of old wine in new bottle. “There’s nothing new in this budget, all the projects proposed are old plans. There’s hardly any provision in the budget to address the burning issues like parking and traffic,” said councillor Divakar Sharma. Simi Nanda, another councillor, resented the proposed hike in electricity cess and the imposition of courier tax.

The CPM, too, slammed the budget, saying that the MC had failed to enhance its actual revenue despite 10 per cent increase in property tax.

“By including the earnings from government’s AMRUT and solid waste management schemes, the budget doesn’t provide a clear picture,” said former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan.

Other steps to generate revenue

Levying green tax on vehicles entering Shimla from other states, seeking a grant of Rs16 crore from the government as compensation for letting go the income from water and sewerage, resumption of stamp duty on the registration of real estate and review of rent and lease of its properties are some of the other measures proposed in the budget to enhance its revenue.

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