The North Delhi Municipal Corporation is set to begin its next financial year with likely losses of Rs 3,600 crore.
While announcing the revised budget estimates for the current financial year, Commissioner P K Gupta stated that budget deficit for the current financial year is estimated at Rs 2,754 crore, and the amount will increase in the next fiscal owing to “implementation of the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, payment of arrears to the safai karamcharis of the corporation and delayed payment to contractors”.
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The North civic body started the current financial year with an opening balance of Rs 11.88 crore. The total income of the civic body was estimated at over Rs 6,671 crore but has now been revised to under Rs 4,700 crore. Despite several austerity measures being put in place, the budget estimates for expenditure by the corporation are only a shade under its earnings.
Expenditure in the next financial year is likely to increase to over Rs 7,000 crore.
Presenting his fifth budget as commissioner, Gupta did not announce any new taxes on the 62 lakh residents who fall under the corporation’s jurisdiction. Even as the BJP nears the end of its second term at the helm of the MCDs, no developmental schemes were announced on Monday.
However, North corporation’s staff colonies at Azadpur, Model Town, Bungalow Road and the vacant land at Idgah are likely to be developed and permission to utilise them commercially has been obtained from the Delhi Development Authority. “These properties are worth Rs 20,000 crore and the corporation is working towards commercial exploitation of these, which could get us at least Rs 2,000 crore annually,” the commissioner noted.
Emphasis has been laid on completion of projects in the pipeline. These include the Rani Jhansi Grade Separator and the waste to energy plant at Narela-Bawana. Both projects are likely to be operational by January 2017.
The ambitious Unique Property Identification Code (UPIC) system, which was set to cover properties in all 104 wards of the corporation to bring “every property” under the tax net, has been moving at snail’s pace. As of now, only 37 wards have been surveyed and 63,519 properties have been issued UPI cards.