The civic body’s revenue collection is likely to be much below its estimated target in the current financial year, and this deficit may affect its expenditure on development work next year.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) two big revenue churners, Octroi and property tax, are still trailing behind their target and with the financial year drawing to an end, this may spell trouble for the civic body’s financial well-being.
The unrest in Egypt and Libya has had an adverse impact on the civic body’s Octroi collections, imposed on oil imports. As a result, the collections have plummeted to nearly 15% of what was anticipated by the end of February. As on February 28, the Octroi collections were
Rs4,541.35 crore, while the target set for this year was Rs5,045 crore, and a difference of almost Rs504 crore still exists.
Last year, by the end of February, the Octroi collections stood at Rs4,103 crore, which then went up by Rs419 crore to Rs4,522 crore by the end of the financial year. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) had paid Rs74 crore as Octroi charges last year. This year, however, they paid only Rs24 crore, thanks to reduced oil imports due to Egypt and Libya crises. “Since January 2011, the Octroi collections dipped slowly, first due to the Egypt crisis and now Libya.”
Property tax, which is the second largest source of revenue after Octroi and amounts for 26% of the total civic revenue, is behind the target by a massive Rs934 crore. Officials fear that collection of this tax will be impossible, since it will have to be done in the next 22 days, excluding holidays.
By February-end, the total property tax collection was Rs1,877.37 crore, an astounding Rs934 crore behind the target set at Rs2,811 crore. Last year, by February-end, Rs2,029.98 crore was the property tax collection, 7% more than the amount collected this year. By the end of March 2010, this figure went up to Rs2,652 crore.
“People usually pay their dues in last moment. So we hope that we will reach our target as last year,” said SS Shinde, joint municipal commissioner. BMC chief Subodh Kumar said, “There is still time to go before March 31. We are confident that we will be able to achieve these targets.”