Patiala MC passes Rs 135-crore budget within five minutes | punjab | patiala | Hindustan Times
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Patiala MC passes Rs 135-crore budget within five minutes

No discussion: In the coming financial year, against the targeted income of Rs 135 crore, MC is expecting to make expenditures of Rs 135.07 crore on development works.

punjab Updated: Mar 27, 2018 13:06 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu (second from right) addressing the General House meeting at the municipal corporation office in Patiala on Monday.
Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu (second from right) addressing the General House meeting at the municipal corporation office in Patiala on Monday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Presenting its maiden budget, the Congress-led Patiala municipal corporation (MC) passed Rs 135-crore budget for 2018-19 financial year, in five minutes, here on Monday. The Patiala MC, which has 59 Congress councillors, of total 60, failed to carry out discussions related to plan of strengthening its fiscal condition at times of poor income generation.

Minutes after the House meeting had started, ward no 50 councillor Harvinder Singh Nippy, who is a close confidant of mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, is said to have asked the MC House to clear the budget, without having discussion.

The House supported Nippy’s suggestion and cleared the proposed budget. It was only after mayor Bittu’s intervention that the officials of the finance department briefly read the key points of the budget.

Against the income of Rs 135 crore, the MC is expected to make expenditures of Rs 135.07 crore in the coming financial year. The Congress-led municipal corporation proposed a tax-free budget and has decided on not selling the corporation’s properties for revenue generation.

Earlier, during the SAD-BJP (Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party) tenure, the MC used to earmark Rs 20 crore to be generated by sales of the corporation’s property.

“Besides ensuring a people-centric budget, we have kept the budget estimates simple and clear. We have excluded sales of MC’s property from the budget documents, for the first time in 15 years, as earlier, the SAD-BJP were habitual of generating funds by selling the MC property,” the mayor said.

He added that the Congress councillors have not included Rs 100 crore grant promised to Patiala by the state government, in the state budget, recently. “We have earmarked development funds worth Rs 47.37 crore from the MC grants,” Bittu said.

Municipal commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira said that the budget is realistic as the municipal corporation has not given fudged figures, be it income generation or expenditure.

“We have set targets, which can be achieved by the end of the financial year. Moreover, the departments have been directed to clear the backlog of financial recoveries, including property tax arrears, building charges, and water supply and sewerage arrears,” Khaira said.

Income-generation sources

Against the set target of Rs 135 crore, the civic body is set to generate Rs 50 crore, majorly from the instalments of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and additional excise duty.

Meanwhile, the MC aims to collect Rs 22.50 crore from property tax and arrears of house tax, Rs 13 crore from lease charges and giving ownership rights of MC property, Rs 15 crore as building application fee, Rs 14 crore as water supply sand sanitation charges, Rs 2 crore as connectivity charges, Rs 4.35 crore from outdoor advertising tax, and Rs 4.55 crore from other taxes including road-cutting charges, entertainment tax, license fee, plot registration and others.

Expenditure

Of the total income of Rs 135 crore, the MC’s expenditure is pegged at Rs 135.07 crore. The civic body will spend Rs 85 crore in payment of salaries and pensions, while Rs 2.70 crore is earmarked for contingency bills. The civic body will spend Rs 47.37 crore on development funds from the MC grant.