Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) has recorded a decline in last year’s revenue collection compared to previous years and according to Tripura Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath, this was due to conspiracy hatched by the Opposition, Left Front.
“The state government has provided AMC more budgetary funds, higher share of taxes compared to previous years. We also provided more funds for urban development. But AMC collected much less revenue in 2018-19 compared to previous years. This was due to a conspiracy hatched by Left Front since they are still in power in the civic body,” Law Minister Nath said Monday. He was speaking on behalf of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who also holds the urban development portfolio.
Nath’s comments came close on the heels of the allegation from Agartala Mayor Dr Prafullajit Sinha who said enough funds were not provided to the city corporation since BJP-IPFT government came to power last year. Sinha had said the civic body was neither provided sufficient funds under BJP regime, nor AMC executives could meet the chief minister in the last 14 months.
Replying to the allegations, Nath said the Tripura Municipal Act granted full autonomy to elected civic bodies and would not allow any ‘interference’ from CM or any external forces. “The CM or nobody for that matter is allowed to interfere in the affairs of AMC. Mayor knows that. They have performed miserably and incompetently. Now they are trying to blame the state government for their failure,” the minister said.
According to the law minister, Agartala Municipal Corporation collected Rs 25.77 crore as revenue in 2018-19, which used to be Rs 28 crore two years back and Rs 30.35 crores in 2015-16.
However, Sinha told indianexpress.com that his figures didn’t match with the ministers and claimed there was a slight rise in revenue collection in last financial year.
Tripura has 20 civic bodies including one municipal corporation, 13 municipal councils and six nagar panchayats with an area of 242.83 sqkm and a population of 8,82,817. Among these, 58 per cent urban residents live in Agartala city alone.