In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering an incentive model for the proposed cess on solid waste management (SWM) services for housing societies in the city. While the department is still working on the financial model for collecting cess, sources said the corporation will provide incentives to societies that prove better in segregation of waste, zero garbage initiatives and maintain 24×7 cleanliness.
Senior officials from the BMC’s Property Tax department confirmed that cess will be charged as a percentage on the property tax paid by residents. “Citizens need to get some benefits of the system. The incentive model will also work as a motivating factor for citizens to maintain cleanliness.”
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Former civic chief Sitaram Kunte, in his budget speech, had said that BMC will create additional cess models owing to the heavy losses it will face with octroi being banned from 2016. According to officials, BMC will face a loss of about Rs 8,000 crore with the introduction of the GST)from 2015.
BMC has zeroed in on two types of cess models, transport and SWM. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and SWM will create a model based on its backlog.
BMC’s recent shift from rateable-value to capital value-based system for collecting property tax has also put the officials in a quandary as the difference between the two systems is huge. The rateable value is the notional rent earning capacity of a property, while capital value is the actual market value of the property. Activists working in the sector also welcomed the move, but called it a long-pending demand. Priya Ubale, an activist working in the waste sector, said, “Citizens might resent paying at first, but it will make them more responsible as well as impel them to ask for responsibility.