Delhi civic agency fixes 2009-10 budget at Rs. 66.9 billion

January 16th, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) announced Friday that its budget for 2009-10 would be around Rs 66.9 billion. “The MCD commissioner proposed an expenditure of Rs.61.15 billion which is being increased by the standing committee to Rs.66.9 billion,” said Vijender Gupta, the chairman of the MCD standing committee.

While winding up debate on the final budget discussion here Friday, the chairman also said that no new tax would be imposed on the people of Delhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led MCD manages over 90 percent of land in the capital. Last year the civic authority proposed a final expenditure of Rs.54.01 billion.

The chairman assured the house that this year special emphasis would be laid on improvement and strengthening of roads.

“As many as 150 km of roads of 100 feet width have been identified by the corporation and will be transformed into ‘Zero Defect Stage’ within two months in this year itself… Account for roads is being increased to Rs.1.5 billion (150 crore). Same amount is being earmarked for the next financial year also,” Gupta said.

Regarding commercial use of property, he said the commercial license fee will be abolished and damage charges taken from transport godowns and guest houses will also be abolished.

Among other provisions, the ownership rights of properties of slum department shall be given to its occupants.

The tax imposed on pigs, donkeys, cows, and camels would be abolished and tax on animals giving milk would be reduced. There will be little respite for cycle-rickshaw drivers as well - tax per rickshaw will also be reduced from Rs.50 to Rs.40.

Leader of Opposition Jai Kishan Sharma (Congress), however, said that little was being done for the common man.

“Hardly any of these animals are present in our city, yet they abolish the little tax on them - what good is that? The budget has not spoken of any relief for the common man from tax,” Sharma told IANS.

Gupta also announced that the Councillors’ Fund was being amended.

“The Councillor Fund is being changed to Councillors’ Local Area Development Fund. A fund under this head will not lapse after the end of the financial year. The balance amount will be carried forward during the next financial year which will definitely accelerate development works,” he said.

The move drew further criticism from Sharma.

“Under the DMC act, the councillors’ fund cannot be changed on the standing committee chairman’s whim - it is a matter of law,” Sharma said.

The budget also provides one truck to each municipal councillor for transportation of debris and keeping their ward clean; the councillor can spend Rs.500,000 for this.

Gupta said that the recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission were implemented without taking any loan.

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