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Friday, January 22, 2021

Chandigarh: MC lacks funds for development work, says Commissioner amid high drama

Passes budget of Rs 251 crore before term’s end, no new new taxes on residents.

By: Express News Service | Mohali | February 13, 2020 4:57:13 pm
Municipal Council, MC Commissioner Kamal Garg, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, MC lacks funds, GMADA, chandigarh news, city news, indian express Municipal councilors during the House meeting at MC Bhawan in Mohali on Wednesday. (Express Photo/ Jasbir Malhi)

On the issue of about 200 development work tenders not being floated by the civic body, the Municipal Council (MC) Commissioner Kamal Garg told the house that the MC did not have funds to carry out development works in the city. The issue of pending development works was raised by the SAD-BJP councillors.

SAD Councillor Kuldeep Kaur Kang had asked the Commissioner to explain to the house why development works were not being carried out. Several other councillors had alleged in the past that the development works were stalled due to the intervention of Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is the local MLA.

“The tenders are worth Rs 30 crore and the MC did not have sufficient funds. We have re-appropriated the budget and sent it to the government for carrying out development works worth around Rs 9 crore. We will do the work which are necessary,” the Commissioner told the house.

Meanwhile, Congress councillors raised objections on the budget structure and demanded an explanation from Mayor Kulwant Singh about Rs 100 crore being included in the budget. The councillors said that over the last three years, the mayor had failed to get money from GMADA, but the money was included in the budget now to take credit ahead of the elections.

Congress councillors also boycotted the budget session for lodging their protest and demanded answers on their queries. However, the budget was passed as SAD-BJP members were present in the house in majority. During the meeting, the Mayor also informed that it was the last budget of the present house as the MC’s term will end in April.

The MC’s budget includes income of Rs 100 crore, which is to be released by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), Rs 5 crore from 14th Finance Commission and Rs 7 crore under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for drinking water supply.

The MC has also proposed to generate Rs 66 crore from MC fund, Rs 7.5 crore from power tax, Rs 3 crore from additional excise duty, Rs 28 crore from property tax, Rs 60 lakh from property rental, Rs 60 lakh from community hall booking, Rs 11 crore from advertisement income, Rs 1.1 crore from water and sewerage fees and Rs 75 lakh from building application fees.

The proposed expenditure includes Rs 30 crore for repair of roads, Rs 4 crore for installing new tube wells and laying of water line, Rs 30 crore for the repair of foothpaths, Rs 3 crore for purchase of machinery, Rs 7 crore for the maintenance of parks and Rs 78.7 crore for miscillaneous expenditures.

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