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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

No new mega projects in 2013 as BMC earned less last year

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 07, 2013
First Published: 02:45 IST(7/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:46 IST(7/2/2013)

Here’s what happens if you don’t pay your property tax  on time.

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While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has shied away from officially admitting it, insiders claim that the absence of big-ticket projects from its budget for 2013-14 could be attributed to its acute shortage of income.

Two major sources of income for the civic body — property tax and premium charged for fungible floor space index (FSI) — have been way below its estimates in 2012-13.

Last year’s budget had estimated that the civic body would earn Rs2,200 crore from property tax collections.

However, till last week, the civic body had collected only Rs10 crore.

Many claim the low collection is because of the confusion among citizens over the transition from the old rateable value to the newly-introduced property tax system. Consequently, the civic body has now scaled down its expected collection to Rs2,156 crore this year.

In the budget for 2012-13, the then chief Subodh Kumar had focused on increasing the revenue from the development plan department, mainly by introducing a premium for developers keen on obtaining fungible FSI.

Under the scheme, Kumar had sought to allow builders to use the entire area approved for construction, thus ruling out the concept of free-of-FSI areas where housing projects were not allowed.

Kumar had estimated how the FSI premium would fetch the BMC Rs1,500 crore. However, till January 24, the BMC has managed to collect only Rs943 crore.

So, in the 2013-14 budget, the civic corporation has limited its estimated revenue from fungible FSI to Rs1,150 crore.

Many feel that the figures in last year’s civic budget were exaggerated. “The budget figures were inflated unrealistically. We were aware we could never generate so much income,” said a senior civic official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Rais Shaikh, group leader, Samajwadi Party, said, “Most projects promised in the budget last year have not taken off. The main reason behind it could be the lack of funds.”


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