The standing committee of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Monday finalised the budget, while proposing to increase the local area development fund (LADF) of corporators from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, issue monthly pass for passengers of city bus service, and develop an amusement park and three gardens for women.
Revising the budget presented by Municipal Commissioner Udit Agrawal to the standing committee on February 1, the standing committee added or amended 24 proposals, increasing the size of the budget by Rs 12.17 crore. With the amendments, the total size of the budget swelled to Rs 2,132.15 crore as against Rs 2,119.98-crore budget presented by the municipal commissioner. The standing committee added a new proposal to increase the annual LDAF of each of the 72 corporators. The committee also proposed to increase special annual grant due to mayor, deputy mayor and chairman of standing committee from existing Rs 3 lakh each to Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh.
“The current rates of LADF and special grants for office-bearers of the RMC were in place since the year 2013-14. There were demands from corporators, both of the ruling BJP and Opposition party Congress to increase this LADF…,” said Uday Kangad, standing committee chairman.
The committee, however, shot down the municipal commissioner’s proposal to revise downward benefits for paying tax in advance. Presently, the RMC gives 10 per cent and five per cent discounts to those who pay their taxes by May 31 and June 30 respectively plus Rs 50 flat additional discount to those who pay their taxes through digital transactions.
The committee also proposed to allocate Rs 50 lakh to plant 10,000 trees, Rs 12 crore for further development of urban forest on Aji dam site, Rs 60 lakh for mobile tree plantation van, Rs 2 lakh for free distribution if birds’ nests, Rs 10 lakh for developing a theme-based amusement park on public private partnership basis and Rs 1 lakh for an aquarium, also on PPP mode. The committee also proposed women-only gardens in each of the three zones of the city, for which Rs 30 lakh was allocated, and three women’s-only Sunday markets for which Rs 15 lakh was set aside.
The committee would present the budget at the general board meeting of the RMC on February 19.
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