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Civic budget set for slowdown

The economic slowdown may reflect in this year’s budget of the largest municipal corporation in the country,which has been growing by leaps and bounds since 2006,riding on the booming economy,real estate and massive development in Mumbai.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 3, 2009 1:57:14 am

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The economic slowdown may reflect in this year’s budget of the largest municipal corporation in the country,which has been growing by leaps and bounds since 2006,riding on the booming economy,real estate and massive development in Mumbai.

From an outlay of Rs 9,607 crore in 2006,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation managed to jump to a whopping Rs 16,792 crore in 2008.

This year’s budget will not see an impressive growth and the figure may be closer to Rs 17,900 crore,according to official sources.

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With the BMC’s one-time money-spinning departments,octroi,property tax and development plan hitting a roadblock due to the slowdown,the budget for 2009-10 is expected to see a hike of around only Rs 1,100 crore.

Over the last four years,these departments were responsible for BMC’s golden budgets,Rs 9,607 crore in 2006-07,Rs 12,866 crore in 2007-08,and Rs 16,792 crore in 2008-09.

“The octroi and property sectors are still in a downward trend. With no new properties being constructed,it will be tough to expect more revenue. We will still try and explore other means,like disputed cases and more raids,besides tightening revenue collecting mechanism,” said a senior official.

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The budget for 2009-10 will concentrate more on important infrastructure projects. However,with elections ahead,the Shiv Sena-BJP,in power in the BMC,is pressing to ensure that its showpiece projects like the wax museum at Birla Krida on the lines of Madame Tussads museum,and the Mumbai Eye modelled on the famous London Eye museum,showcasing martyrs of Samyukta Maharashtra movement at Dadar,besides statues and smaller beautification projects will be included in the budget.

A considerable amount will be devoted to upgrade the security department. After 26/11,the civic body has decided to go on a security overdrive necessitating purchase of arms and armaments,CCTV cameras,commando training of guards,construction of firing ranges and watch towers at vital installations.

WHAT TO EXPECT
* School repairs: Rs 600 crore
* Civic hospital renovation: Rs 800 crore
* Water supply projects under JNNURM: Rs 500 crore
* Storm water dept: Rs 1200 crore
* Beautification of Rani Baug zoo,new theme gardens
* Wax museum
* Mumbai Eye

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PERFORMANCE PAYS
* A detailed guideline and timeline for initiatives to be completed before the amount is exhausted
* As a pilot project,the formula will apply to the depts of water supply,solid waste management,health,education and roads
* If tasks not achieved,then schemes will be reviewed twice annually,roadblocks removed
* Result-oriented framework drawn up by Delhi-based Society for Development Studies

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First published on: 03-02-2009 at 01:57:14 am

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