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Monday, March 01, 2021

Pune: Citing past failure, activists say draft budget ‘unrealistic’

Qaneez Sukhrani of Nagrik Chetna Manch said the astronomical figure of civic draft budget was “mind boggling and without rationale”.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 29, 2021 11:26:41 pm
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Civic activists on Friday termed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration’s draft budget for the city for 2021-22 “unrealistic”, citing the civic body’s failure in achieving its targets in the past.

Qaneez Sukhrani of Nagrik Chetna Manch said the astronomical figure of civic draft budget was “mind boggling and without rationale”. “It brings residents to ponder as to who prepares such drafts? Was any realistic mathematics involved? Or were random figures just conjured up?” she asked.

“In the year after such a severe pandemic, practicality and realism should have been the focus,” Sukhrani said, adding that 2021-22 was the run up to the civic elections and the political parties were being alerted that they should be concerned that the budget should not be extravagant and out of reach.

“The PMC should focus on not increasing property tax as residents have suffered due to pandemic. Instead, they should increase development charges, taxes on industries, companies and not individuals,” she said.

Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch said, “The estimated target of Rs 2,850 crore from property tax and water charges is unimaginable considering the collection of around Rs 1,200 crore by the civic administration in the current fiscal.”

“Similarly, the collection from development charges is estimated to be Rs 1,000 crore for the next financial year, while it is hardly Rs 300 crore this year. The estimate of the draft budget will further be increased by the standing committee and the final budget will only be an inflated one,” he said.

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