East Delhi Municipal Corporation scraps plan to impose new taxes
But in his budget speech on Tuesday, leader of the House Santosh Pal said no additional taxes would be imposed in 2018-19.delhi Updated: Feb 14, 2018 00:04 IST
Despite facing a severe financial crisis and not being able to pay regular salaries to its employees, the BJP-led East Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to scrap proposals to impose new taxes in the next financial year.
Two months ago, the EDMC commissioner had proposed to introduce two new taxes — betterment and professional --- and add education cess to property tax to stem its rising deficit, up from Rs 2,250 crore last fiscal year to Rs 3,300 crore.
But in his budget speech on Tuesday, leader of the House Santosh Pal said no additional taxes would be imposed in 2018-19.
Pal also proposed to increase the councillor development fund from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. “The present amount is insufficient to carry out enough development works in areas falling in the jurisdiction of a councillor.We have decided to provide R 1 lakh per ward for delivering sanitation services in unauthorised colonies,” he said.
He proposed to increase the limit for ‘mayor discretion funds for needy women’ from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. These proposals would further increase the financial burden on the civic agency.
The EDMC mayor Neema Bhagat, however, said these provisions would be implemented only when the civic body has enough funds in its account.
“Due to paucity of funds, we are not being able to provide the development fund to councillors in this financial year. And as a result, no new civil works can be taken up in any ward,” she said.
The East Corporation has been suffering financially ever since the trifurcation of the municipal corporation in 2012. Of the three civic bodies, the EDMC is the poorest. It has struggled to launch infrastructure and development projects and failed to pay salaries leading to strikes by workers, particularly those engaged in public sanitation and health.
The civic body collects Rs 800 crore in taxes and gets Rs 510 crore as annual grant-in-aid. The amount is not even sufficient to pay the annual salary bill of Rs 2,400 crore.
With funds provided by the Centre under Swachh Bharat Mission, the EDMC has brought new vehicles for sanitation jobs.
“Till 2017-18, we got Rs 80 crore from union government and funds of Rs 11 crore expected to be received in next financial year,” said Pal.