Chandigarh admn proposes 40% hike in MC grant-in-aid
With the municipal elections just about two months away, the Chandigarh administration has revised its grant-in-aid (GIA) estimates for the current fiscal by 40%.
In the 2021-2022 budget, the GIA for the municipal corporation (MC) was set at ₹502 crore. It has now been proposed to be increased to ₹700 crore under the revised estimates.
“The revised estimates will be submitted with the Union government within a week, and the GIA’s final quantum will depend on its approval,” said a senior UT official privy to the development.
The MC has so far received ₹250-crore GIA in two equal quarterly instalments, and expects to get the enhanced GIA of ₹450 crore, if approved, by early next year for spending within this fiscal. Earlier this year, the UT had also released ₹50 crore for village development in addition to the GIA.
For the MC, which is facing a fund crunch, the increased GIA will be a major boost, particularly for carrying out development works. Most of its funds currently are used up in revenue expenditure, including paying employee salaries and utility bills.
The corporation started the current fiscal with a deficit budget of ₹670 crore. Its finances received a major setback when the UT administration decided to stay the hike in water tariff till March 2022. The civic body was expecting to earn an additional revenue of ₹90 crore from the hike, which was imposed in October last year.
Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said the increased GIA will help bridge the widened gap in revenue after the hike in water charges was rolled back. The funds will also be utilised for new development works and for upgrading the solid waste processing plant. The MC will be able to clear various pending bills as well.
Sharma said the administration has also sent reminder letters to the Union government for implementation of the fourth Delhi finance commission’s report in the city. Its implementation will increase the MC’s share in the UT’s overall revenues.