January 29, 2009 12:59:41 am
In its budget for the financial year 2009-10,Rajkot Municipal Corporation Commissioner Dinesh Brahmbhatt proposed an increase of over Rs 31 crore in taxes and charges on Wednesday.
The proposed budget,which saw an increase of Rs 120 crore in its present years figures,also includes mega development projects including two flyovers,skywalks and model roads.
Brahmbhatt,who presented his first budget before the RMC,called it a comprehensive budget incorporating the idea of Swarnim Gujarat with emphasis on improvement of the social index,development of neglected areas with focus on infrastructure and long-term primary needs of the city.
If cleared by the standing committee,residents will have to pay water charges double than the current slab along with hikes in two taxes conservancy and drainage and a new tax in the form of streetlight tax.
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The RMC would spend over Rs 2,175 per citizen in the year against a per capita tax of Rs 223. Besides,water tax will be levied on all houses and buildings as per the slab,which is currently outside the purview of water charge.
With an increase in water charge,the RMC would see an additional income of Rs 15 crore. From Rs 840 per year for domestic connection,the administrative head has proposed to increase the charge to Rs 1,200. For commercial connections,the proposed tax is Rs 2,400 a month from the present Rs 1,680.
The administrative wing has also proposed to hike conservancy tax,which is currently 6 per cent for domestic units,11 per cent for commercial units and 13 per cent of the property tax for industrial units.
In the proposed budget,the rate has been hiked to 7 per cent,12.5 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Drainage tax,which is currently 3 per cent of property tax or Rs 150,whichever is higher,has been proposed to increase to 4 per cent or Rs 200,whichever is more.
Building and strengthening of the road network for the city has got top priority with 15.21 per cent of budget,which is over Rs 90 crore,allotted for laying new roads and widening congested ones.
Water supply is second on the priority list with funds allotted to the tune of over Rs 71 crore,which is 12.6 per cent of the total budget. In all,47.87 per cent of the total budget,which is Rs 284 crore,will be spent on primary infrastructure including road,water supply,drainage,streetlight,health and solid waste.
The combined worth of the new projects is Rs 161 crore and includes Bhavnagar road development (four lanes,illumination and dividers),Safai Kamdar Awas Yojana,modernisation of fire services,underbridge at Bhagwatipara,biometrics for ward offices and relocation of new slaughterhouses.
For the first time,the RMC has decided to raise income from non-conventional sources like hotel licence fee,drainage plumber licence fee,signboard charge,zoo entry fee,hawkers zone and pay and park.
Non-conventional sources are estimated to raise Rs 7 crore,which is 1.3 per cent of the total budget.
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