In a bid to improve its revenue collection, which has taken a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to cancel property tax discount provided to those who claim it for implementing environment-friendly steps, but have failed to keep their projects operational.
“The PMC provides a discount in property tax to those implementing environment-friendly projects such as vermicomposting, solar energy and rainwater harvesting,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar. “Property owners claim the discount, but fail to keep their projects operational. The civic administration will start cancelling discounts for such properties.”
He added, “The PMC has set a revenue collection target of Rs 2,300 crore in the current financial year, but could collect just over Rs 900 crore from regular tax. The amnesty scheme increased collection of Rs 200 crore from defaulters.”
The revenue collected from regular property tax is just 40 per cent of the target for the year, Kumar said, adding that the implementation of the civic budget is going to be affected this financial year.
The revenue from development charges has also been affected due to the slowdown in the real estate sector. However, the biggest contribution is from the Goods and Sales Tax (GST), which is collected by the Union government, and later distributed to the civic bodies via the state government.
The civic administration has ensured no new civic projects are launched this year, considering the shortage of funds, and has directed that only necessary civic work should continue.
The PMC has spent a large amount of funds on the containment of Covid-19 in the city. Rs 200 crore would be spent for treatment at the jumbo Covid facility, in addition to paying of bills of eligible patients taking treatment in private hospitals and the management of Covid care centres, Kumar said.
Meanwhile, the civic administration will start drafting the budget for 2021-22 from December 21 onwards.
“It has been noticed that the budgetary provision made in the current fiscal to complete civic work of the previous financial year would be extended in the next year, and will also impact civic work proposed this financial year. Thus, departments should suggest new revenue sources, and also measures to reduce civic expenditure,” Kumar said.
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