The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is the richest civic body in the country, unveiled its Budget for 2020-21 with a total outlay of Rs 33,441 crores, which is 8.95% more than the last fiscal’s budgetary outlay of Rs 30,692 crores and 12.5% higher than the 2018-19 estimates. While presenting a Rs 6.52-crore surplus budget in the civic body’s standing committee, BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, on February 4, 2020, said that the civic body had kept the general tax structure unchanged, while proposing an increase of 5% in fees for various licences, birth certificates, market licences and others.
The BMC is expecting an estimated revenue of Rs 28,448.30 crores from various revenue sources in the year 2020-21, which is 13.87% more as compared to Rs 24,983.82 crores in FY 2019-20. The BMC has also focused on various infrastructure projects, health services, education and other facilities, in the budget. The BMC has allocated Rs 14,637 crores for FY 20-21 for capital expenditure works, which includes traffic operation and roads (Rs 2,699.65 crores), water supply projects (Rs 1,728.85 crores), storm water drains (Rs 912.10 crores) and sewage disposal (Rs 870.94 crores), among others.
Coastal Road project cost
The budgetary allocation for the ambitious Coastal Road project, which is planned to be completed in four years, has been increased by 25% from Rs 1,600 crores to Rs 2,000 crores. The total project cost of the project stands at Rs 12,721 crores.
The BMC has allocated Rs 300 crores for the 12.2-km-long Goregaon-Mulund link road project that is expected to make people’s journey between eastern and western suburbs seamless. As per the Budget document, the BMC’s revenue from property tax has gone down by Rs 335 crores, due to exemption of flats having carpet area up to 500 sq ft from the purview of the tax. The BMC has also made a separate budgetary provision of Rs 2,944.49 crores for the education department and Rs 4,260.34 crores for the health department.
Funds for debt-ridden BEST
For the first time, the BMC has given a Rs 1,500-crore financial grant to the cash-strapped Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, by making a provision in the budget. The undertaking provides public bus service to Mumbai, and neighbouring areas. “These funds shall be used for repayment of loans, procurement of new buses under wet lease, to fulfil financial obligations arising from wage agreement, day-to-day expenditures and implementation of the ITMS project, etc.,” said Pardeshi.
Interestingly, Pardeshi also announced to allocate Rs 10 crore for tourism development, besides announcing creation of a separate tourism department that will look for eco-tourism activities around water supply reservoirs owned by the civic body. The civic body also made a provision of Rs 2 crores in the budget for taking preventive measures to control the Coronavirus, at Kasturba Hospital at Chinchpokli. Highlighting the need, Pradeshi said Kasturba Hospital is the only such facility where patients can be isolated.
Pardeshi also unveiled a ‘Happy Mumbai 2030’ plan for transforming the city into a ‘happy city’. “It is the intention of the BMC to provide all civic services to the rising population through budget. Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when they are created by everybody,” the municipal commissioner said. The BMC also set aside a fund of Rs 582.51 crores, for the Gargai dam that is planned for meeting the city’s future need of water supply, besides several other infra projects.
BMC presents Rs 30,692-crore budget, with focus on infrastructure, health and education
The BMC has presented a budget of Rs 30,692 crores for the financial year 2019-20, which is 12.6 per cent more than the last fiscal, with allocations towards several major infrastructure projects
February 5, 2019: The Mumbai civic body, on February 4, 2019, earmarked Rs 4,151 crores for health and Rs 2,074 crores for primary education, besides allocating funds for a number of infrastructure projects, in its Rs 30,692-crore budget for 2019-20, in which no new tax has been proposed. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s total budget estimates (Rs 30,692 crores) for the next financial year, was 12.6 per cent more than the last fiscal.
In 2018-19, the country’s richest civic body had presented a budget of Rs 27,258 crores, which was an increase of 8.4 per cent over the 2017-18 estimates. In its budget estimates for FY20, the BMC neither proposed any hike in the existing taxes, nor any new levy. Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who presented the budget, said the civic body has primarily focused on important projects and sectors like health, education, bridges, road and traffic, among others. The cash-rich BMC, in 2016-17, had presented its highest-ever budget of Rs 37,052 crores. However, it slashed the budget size by about Rs 12,000 crores in the subsequent year (2017-18), by presenting a budget of Rs 25,141 crore, calling it ‘realistic’.
For implementation of the Development Plan (DP) 2034, a separate budget of Rs 3,323.64 crores has been proposed for 2019-20, for improving amenities. Mehta earmarked Rs 4,151 crores for health and Rs 2,074 crores for primary education, which are 13 per cent and seven per cent, respectively, of the total expenditure. Total establishment budget size stood at Rs 11,946 crores, which is 48 per cent of total revenue.
The BMC set aside funds for mega projects, including the coastal road (Rs 1,600 crores), cycle track (Rs 120 crores), the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (Rs 100 crores), a waste-to-energy plant at Deonar (Rs 100 crores), major and minor repairs of bridges (Rs 108 crores), zoo development works (Rs 110 crores) and solid waste management (Rs 177 crores). Other major projects are expansion of KB Bhabha Hospital-Bandra (Rs 10 crores), redevelopment of Bhagwati Hospital (Rs 40 crores) and construction of a medical college building in Cooper Hospital (Rs 35 crores).
In addition, the BMC proposed Rs 44 crores as capital investment for the BEST undertaking and allocated Rs three crores for providing 50 per cent concession to senior citizens travelling in buses operated by the civic transport utility, whose employees went on a strike last month. Among other projects, the civic body proposed Rs two crores for night shelter support system, Rs one crore for the mayor’s new bungalow in Dadar and Rs five crores for constructing a 16-storey building for working women in suburban Goregaon. Other proposals include development of a textile museum (Rs 15 crores), upgradation of Deonar abattoir (Rs 20 crores), construction of Topiwala market (Rs 20 crores), redevelopment of Sion Hospital premises (Rs 10 crores), installation of CCTV cameras (Rs 124.30 crores) and a footpath policy (Rs 100 crores). The civic body also made a provision of Rs five crores for the Bal Thackeray memorial.
Speaking to mediapersons after presenting the budget, Mehta said, “We have focused on development projects for improvement of the city’s infrastructure, like roads, storm water drains, bridges, solid waste management, water projects, as well as to provide basic amenities to Mumbaikars.”