There are high chances that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will not be able to meet its revenue target in the current financial year, with the civic body so far having met 71% of its target octroi collection – one of its main sources of income to run the city. With only two months left to go, it is unlikely that the target of Rs 7,800 crore will be met, officials have admitted.
From April 1, 2014 to January 30, 2015, the BMC collected Rs 5,563 crore, a far cry from the revenue target of Rs 7,800 crore. Though this may look grim, the present circumstances are an improvement on 2013-14. The octroi collected by February 2014 was Rs 29 crore less.
The civic body has attributed the poor collection to the drop in rates of crude oil. “The major impact on octroi collection is due to a 50% drop in the rate of crude oil in the market. It is difficult to say if we will meet the octroi collection target,” said RB Arote, assessor and collector, BMC.
The collection from octroi extracted for crude oil so far in the current fiscal is Rs130 crore less than what was collected by February last year.
It also appears that low revenue collection had a direct impact on the development and improvement work planned for the city in the last budget. For instance, of the Rs 2,500 crore that was allocated for improvement of roads in the city in the 2014-15 budget, not a single penny had been put to use by January 15, 2015. BMC recently floated tenders worth Rs 1,000 crore for road improvement work; ideally, these orders should have been issued by October 2014.
Meanwhile, generation of revenue earned as property tax, which looked bleak till even last month, has improved. Property tax collection, which stood at a meagre 48% of the estimated revenue target on December 8 last year, rose to 67% of the intended revenue of Rs 3,956.28 crore by January 30 this year.
For now, the BMC can only hope that octroi and property tax collections head north.