Mohali MC passes Rs 128-crore budget with no new taxes

House meet: House shelves proposals to hike community centre booking rates, introduction of charges for using public parks for functions.

punjab Updated: Mar 13, 2018 10:16 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Mohali MC,Rs 128-crore budget,no new taxes
Mayor Kulwant Singh, along with municipal commissioner Sandeep Hans, addressing the House on Monday. (HT Photo)

The Mohali municipal corporation on Monday passed Rs 128.17-crore budget for the next fiscal (2018-19) during a special meeting here on Monday.

With the revenue for 2018-19 pegged at Rs 112.93 crore, the budget has a deficit of Rs 15.24 crore. At Rs 60 crore, the MC’s share in the goods and services tax (GST) is the main source of revenue.

However, the MC has not introduced any new taxes. The civic body also shelved two important proposals pertaining to increase in the community centre booking charges and introduction of fee for using public parks for functions.

The revised budget estimates for the current fiscal are Rs 109.78 crore. Against the expenditure of Rs 69.30 crore in the current fiscal, the corporation has approved Rs 83.17 crore for development works in 2018-19. Another Rs 40.5 crore have been allocated to paying salaries and pensions to employees besides other expenses of the establishment. Rs 4.5 crore have been kept as contingency fund.

Councillors protest new charges

Led by deputy mayor Manjit Singh Sethi, a number of councillors opposed the move to increase the booking charges of community centres by 25%.

“First, we need to provide the public with adequate facilities in community centres, like air-conditioned halls. Only then we should think of a booking fee hike,” said Sethi, following which the proposal was shelved.

The controversial Rs 1.79-crore pruning machine again found mention during the House meet.

The councillors also raised concern over the proposal to charge money from NGOs and residents for holding functions in parks. As they protested, the proposal was dropped.

Even as the House passed the proposal to charge Rs 500 as cleanliness charges from those holding functions, mayor Kulwant Singh later claimed no such charges would be levied.  However, for shooting commercial advertisements in parks, Rs 20,000 will be charged.

The House also adopted a resolution allowing 25% increase in expenditure on wood at the cremation ground. Earlier, it had sanctioned Rs 29.17 lakh for the wood. It also authorised municipal commissioner Sandeep Hans to remove all encroachments in the city and come out with a policy for street vendors.

Govt sitting on proposals, says House

The controversial Rs 1.79-crore pruning machine again found mention during the House meet. The corporation wants that it should be allowed to use the pruning machine that is at present parked in Dera Bassi.

The machine kicked a massive row after an inquiry pointed out that norms were not followed in its purchase. The mayor was also issued a show-cause notice by the local bodies department, which he had challenged in the high court. The file regarding the machine is lying with the chief vigilance officer of the Punjab local bodies department.

The other issue was exemption of property tax to Quark City. In the initial agreement, the government had given the exemption to this special economic zone in the Industrial Area. Its management has now told the corporation that it would not make further investments in the city if the notification in this regard is not issued soon.

The House decided to send a reminder to the state government to take action on it. Earlier, the mayor had opposed the exemption, stating that it would cause financial loss to the corporation. The corporation wanted the government to compensate it for the losses.

The proposal regarding the city bus service is also pending for clearance with the local bodies department. Expressing concern over it, councillors said the department should not sit on important proposals.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 10:09 IST