Ludhiana, March 24
In the last meeting of the current sixth House today, the Municipal Corporation (MC) approved an estimated budget of approximately Rs 1062.66 crore for the upcoming 2023-24 financial year.
No new taxes have been imposed and no major new projects were announced for the city. The estimated budget approval process was quick, with no detailed discussion during the meeting, which lasted less than an hour.
For the next financial year, the MC plans to spend approximately Rs 473.40 crore on development and other committed expenditures while around Rs 565.30 crore is planned for the establishment and Rs 12.30 crore is allocated for contingency expenses.
The estimated budget as per the agenda prepared by officials was previously around Rs 1,043.66 crore, but it was increased to Rs 1,062.66 crore for 2023-24 during the meeting. The MC aims to generate a maximum income of Rs 610 crore from GST shares, Rs 120 crore from property tax, Rs 90 crore from municipal tax on electricity, Rs 20 crore from cow cess, Rs 50 crore from additional excise duty and Rs 60 crore from water supply and sewerage charges in the next financial year. It also plans to sell properties worth Rs 20 crore.
However, the civic body has not taken any concrete steps to increase its income from advertisements as it is only expecting to generate Rs 12.10 crore from advertisements during the 2023-24 financial year. Nothing has been planned to generate income from vacant advertisement sites in the city.
For 2023-24, the MC plans to spend Rs 38 crore on road projects, Rs 9.50 crore on bridges, Rs 80 crore on streets and drains, and Rs 10 crore on park development. The meeting was headed by Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu and MC Commissioner Shena Aggarwal. Later, the Mayor announced that the budget was approved unanimously. The approved estimated Budget will now be sent to the Department of Local Government for final approval.
The MC House had approved an estimated Budget of Rs 1034.23 crore for 2022-23 in March 2022 but the government then sanctioned only Rs 968.13 crore. Later, the MC revised the budget to Rs 983.13 crore for 2022-23.
An official said the MC had witnessed a record all-time high recovery of property tax during the 2022-23 financial year. As of March 24, the civic body has recovered over Rs 115 crore as property tax, exceeding the annual recovery target of Rs 100 crore. This is the highest recovery of property tax during a financial year since the tax was introduced by the government in 2013-14.
The recovery of dues by branches, including water-sewer user charges, building branch, rent/tehbazaari fee, advertisement tax, and license fee, is higher compared to the financial year (2021-22), the official said.
The Mayor and the MC chief have praised residents for supporting the civic body by paying taxes on time.
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