With two months to go for the end of the financial year, the municipal corporation’s (MC’s) income this year has been just Rs 49 crore and is 30 per cent short of the target of Rs 70 crore. There are several reasons for the poor earnings of the civic body, which interestingly had earned Rs 92 crore in 2013-14, more than its target.
Revenue from the auction of parking lots dipped to around half of last fiscal at Rs 3.83 crore this year so far, against Rs 6.71 crore earned last year. Sources said as contractors reportedly formed cartels to keep bids low.
From house and property tax too, the income has been around Rs 16 crore against Rs 22 crore earned last year.
Interestingly, the tax was imposed with much fanfare two years back. The shortfall in income has came to light in the budget proposal for 2015-16. This is to be put up before a meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee on Wednesday (January 29).
The main sources of income of the MC are property tax, paid parking lots, rent from cable operators, taxi stands, community centres, auction of seized articles, festival charges, rickshaw license fee, rent from night food-street, subways shops, eating joints and liquor vends.
Why the shortfall
Councillors claim that officials only issue notices for recovery of house and property tax, but never recover the amount or follow it up.
Former deputy mayor, Davesh Moudgil said, “The officers concerned never take any initiative to generate income or recover outstanding tax dues. It is a matter of great concern, that there has been a dip in income.”
“The civic body collected property tax from commercial establishments in accordance with a survey conducted in 2004.
Over the past decade, many new commercial establishments have come up and no agency has been hired to conduct a fresh survey,” he added.
MC’s chief accounts officer Deshraj said, “How will income be generated when the MC has been charging the same amount for paid parking over the past decade? Councillors have their own compulsions of vote bank.”