Though it may be aimed at compensating tax with development,the AMC standing committee saw no scope this time for altogether scrapping tax hike proposals made by the municipal commissioner in the budget for 2012-13.
However,it has toned down the estimates to some extent and yet came up with addition of Rs 330 crore in civic budget taking it to Rs 4,511 crore from Rs 4,181 crore. Of the Rs 330 crore addition,Rs 153.09 crore goes to revenue expenditure and Rs 176.91 crore to capital expenditure.
The committee has suggested total exemption to gaushalas (panjra pols) from property tax while it has also offered unspecified tax concessions to old-age home properties.
The committees additional income sources of Rs 330 crore seem quite ambitious to realise. For example,political leaders were less than convincing in replying about how would income from commercial development or how would sale of FSI would secure Rs 25 crore even as some proposals are pending with the state government for years. The committee claims that the income from octroi would be Rs 1,300 crore but going by past experience,this would become a pipe dream.
The budget document claims that it is in line with the plan of making Ahmadabad the financial capital of Gujarat,a city equipped with world class facilities,as envisioned by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and in-charge minister Anandiben Patel. It is a declaration of BJP manifesto, it says among other things.
The budget briefing was graced by standing committee chairman Bhupendra Patel,mayor Asit Vora,his deputy Darshana Vaghela,AMTS chairman Amit Shah,former MP Surendra Patel,school board chairman Jagdish Bhavsar and party leader Gautam Shah besides municipal commissioner G P Mohapatra.