The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) annual budget was approved by the general body, amidst uproar from the Opposition, on Saturday. The opposition parties, led by the Congress, walked out even before the budget could be announced, denouncing it as a budget for the elite.
The civic budget for 2012-13 proposes to raise the city’s water and sewerage tariff, and bring in a property tax system based on the capital-value of the property, a move which critics believe will increase the tax substantially.
Leader of Opposition Dnyanraj Nikam, a Congress corporator, said: “The budget is against the interests of the common man. There has been no check on taxes for the last three years as taxes on property, water, electricity, and everything else have risen substantially.”
Some opposition corporators said that the budget did not make enough provisions for the urban poor. A total of 109 of the 232 civic corporators had been discussing and amending the budget for two weeks now, clocking up 37 hours of discussion according to civic figures. The budget was finally approved at around 3am on Saturday.