Citing a huge gap between the expenditure on its markets and the revenue they generated, the markets department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed to increase the rent of civic markets. A decision on the proposal will be taken during the Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday. The civic body has not revised the rent of its markets for more than two decades.
The proposal states that for the past 21 years (1996-2016), the rent of civic markets has not been increased. According to officials of the markets department, during 2016-17, the BMC spent Rs 42.14 crore in market renovation and redevelopment. However, the revenue earned was only Rs 17.7 crore. “There is a huge gap of Rs 24.34 crore between the expenditure and the revenue earned, therefore, the department had to propose hike in rent,” said a senior official from the BMC markets department.
According to the proposal, at present, civic markets have been classified into A, B, and C categories. Shops falling under A category pay Rs 8 per sq foot, B category shops pay Rs 7 and C category pay Rs 6 per sq foot as rent. However, according to the new proposal, shops/galas will be classified as ‘veg marketable’, ‘non-veg marketable’ and ‘non marketable’. The rents as per the new proposal would increase two-folds. Those falling under ‘veg marketable’ category, meaning shopkeepers selling vegetables or fruits of all categories, will have to pay Rs 14 per sq foot and the non-veg shopkeepers will have to pay Rs 16 per sq foot.
Meanwhile, shops that come under non-marketable (warehouse, godowns) category will have to shell out Rs 20 per square foot. A senior official from the markets department said: “The low rent charged by the corporation is hampering the revenue of BMC. We are incurring losses running into crores. Also, BMC-owned civic markets are providing good facilities to residents and shopkeepers. The rents have been increased after 21 years.”
The official further said that once the proposal is approved by the members of the Standing Committee, the revised rents will come into effect from next month itself. Currently, BMC owns 92 market buildings across its 24 administrative wards in the city.