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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Pune: Pandemic, inflation, pay commission to hit development works, only 30% of proposed budget to be available

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has prepared an estimated budget of Rs 8,370 crore for the 2021-22 fiscal. The civic administration, however, has sent out an alert about possible shortage of revenue collection and increase in unplanned expenditure.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: June 23, 2021 11:59:48 pm
Pune Municipal Corporation, COVID-19, Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, 14-day home quarantine, Pune news, indian expressPune Municipal Corporation. (Express photo)

The city is likely to get only around 30 per cent of the proposed Rs 4,035 crore for undertaking development works due to the pandemic, inflation and implementation of pay commission for civic employees.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has prepared an estimated budget of Rs 8,370 crore for the 2021-22 fiscal. The civic administration, however, has sent out an alert about possible shortage of revenue collection and increase in unplanned expenditure.

“The PMC is likely to get only Rs 1,300 crore of the total budget for undertaking development works. Thus, funds have to be spent carefully,” said municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar.

The estimated availability of funds for development works forms only 15 per cent of the estimated Rs 8,370-crore annual budget. The civic administration had constituted a finance committee of senior civic officers to prioritise development works due to shortage of funds. Elected representatives, however, had objected citing the administration could not make such decisions without the consent of corporators. “We have directed the civic administration to discontinue the finance committee. Elected representatives will soon be allocated funds to carry out development works in their electoral areas,” said Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the standing committee.

Earlier, Kumar said the reason for forming the finance committee was to manage expenditure on development works, in the current situation of likely shortage. “The PMC has an estimated budget of Rs 8,370 crore for the financial year. However, the revenue collection in the first quarter of 2021-22 is not as expected. There was a lockdown for two months in the first quarter. Also, the Covid-19 situation is unpredictable,” he told elected representatives.

The municipal commissioner said the administration was likely to achieve a Rs 5,600-crore target of the estimated Rs 8,370 crore for the year. “The tax hike proposed by the civic administration has been rejected, while a 15 per cent discount in property tax has been to regular taxpayers. The revenue collection is set to decrease while the expenditure is increasing,” he said.

“The PMC will have to shell out Rs 500 crore for implementing the seventh pay commission for civic employees and Rs 150 crore to fund PMPML for their operational losses due to lockdown. The increase in fuel prices and power tariff has put an additional financial burden on the civic body. Necessary and unplanned expenditure is likely to increase by Rs 1,200 crore. It will affect overall estimated revenue expenditure of the civic body, and increase from Rs 3,100 crore to Rs 4,300 crore for payment of salaries,” Kumar said, adding that this will leave only around Rs 1,300 crore for development works.

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