February 15, 2021 12:50:26 pm
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will present its 39th budget for the year 2021-22 on February 18. Though the budget has been prepared by outgoing municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar, it will presented by his successor Rajesh Patil.
The civic administration has readied the draft budget last week itself, officials said. However, Hardikar was transferred on Friday. Patil, an Odisha cadre officer, who is taking charge, will get to present his budget without getting enough time to understand the city and its development works. Civic officials said the outgoing commissioner will brief the new commissioner regarding the provisions he has made in the budget.
Since this is an election year, the budget is not likely to see any hike in property or water tax. The next civic elections are due in February 2022. In the 2017 elections, BJP came to power for the first time in PCMC history.
Though the budget might not see any hike in property tax, the civic administration has already effected the hike on old properties. The municipal commissioner has used his discretion to effect the hike. Assistant municipal commissioner Smita Zagade said old properties belonging to the period before 2006 has been hiked. “This has been done to bring some parity with tax levied on new properties. While old properties were paying minimal property tax, the new ones were paying high tax. Therefore, we have sought to bring some parity,” she said. The new property tax rate will come into effect from April 1.
The civic administration had sought suggestions for inclusion in the budget from citizens. However, the civic administration said they have received lukewarm response.
The budget will make a provision for granting assistance to PMPML, the city’s transport undertaking. PMPML has been hit badly by the lockdown as its vehicles were off the roads for at least four months. PMPML has sought Rs 40 crore out of the Rs 183 PCMC had promised to pay it for 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne has sought an investigation into the Smart City works being implemented by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Ltd. Barne raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Saturday. “I raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and demand a high level probe into the functioning of Smart City company. It has come to my notice that one particular agency is being favoured. And that agency is working in favour of the contractors. As a result, the state government, central government and the PCMC are likely suffer huge losses. And therefore I have urged the central government to initiate a probe into the matter,” he said.
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