No development fund for corporators
In a surprise move, the the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to discontinue the development fund given to each corporator.
Instead, the BMC’s budget 2011-12 will aim to complete ongoing projects and focus on beautification, roads and health projects.
The development fund, which amounts to Rs 1 crore, is given to each corporator to carry out development work in their jurisdictions. With the civic elections approaching in 2012, the decision to discontinue development fund will not go down too well with the elected representatives.
The development fund concept was adopted by the BMC in 2008. Apart from the corporators’ fund of Rs 35 lakh allotted to each of the 227 corporator per annum, Rs 1 crore corpus was being given to all corporators to carry out works in their wards.
“Most of the development fund is spent in organising party functions. So, even if the BMC discontinues this [the fund] it will not affect the infrastructure of the wards,” said a senior civic official, requesting anonymity.
The official added that the civic chief is of the view that a need assessment will be done in each ward and budget to that ward will be given according.
The budget will be tabled before the civic standing committee on February 4.
A civic official, on condition of anonymity, revealed that no new taxes would be imposed in the next fiscal budget as the civic poll is scheduled in February 2012.
The 2010-11 civic budget was around Rs 20,000 crore. However, this year a rise of at least 10% is expected. “The budget will definitely be better than last year’s. Few projects that were on the backburner due to fund shortage will see the light of the day” said a civic official.
This year, octroi collection has increased by more than 11% as compared to last year.
Also, the building proposal and development plan department is expecting 12-15% rise in development charges levied on builders to take various permissions from the BMC.