The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday presented Rs 30,692-crore budget for 2019 -20.
The budget earmarked Rs 4,151 crore for health and Rs 2,074 crore for primary education besides allocating funds for a number of infrastructure projects.
In a big relief to the middle class, no new tax has been proposed in the BMC budget.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s total budget estimates (Rs 30,692 crore) for the next financial year are 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 crore, 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 crore. However, it slashed the budget size by about Rs 12,000 crore 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 crore has been proposed for 2019-20 for improving amenities.
Mehta earmarked Rs 4,151 crore for health and Rs 2,074 crore for primary education, which are 13 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, of the total expenditure. Total establishment budget size stood at Rs 11,946 crore, which is 48 per cent of total revenue.
The BMC set aside funds for mega projects, including coastal road (Rs 1,600 crore), cycle track (Rs 120 crore), Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (Rs 100 crore), waste-to-energy plant at Deonar (Rs 100 crore), major and minor repairs of bridges (Rs 108 crore), zoo development works (Rs 110 crore) and solid waste management (Rs 177 crore).
Other major projects are expansion of K B Bhabha Hospital-Bandra (Rs 10 crore), redevelopment of Bhagwati Hospital (Rs 40 crore) and construction of medical college building in Cooper Hospital (Rs 35 crore). They also include development of a textile museum (Rs 15 crore), upgradation of Deonar abattoir (Rs 20 crore), construction of Topiwala market (Rs 20 crore), redevelopment of Sion Hospital premises (Rs 10 crore), installation of CCTV cameras (Rs 124.30 crore) and footpath policy (Rs 100 crore).
The civic body also made of provision of Rs 5 crore for the Bal Thackeray memorial for which the Maharashtra government has already approved Rs 100 crore through MMRDA. Clarifying over the memorial budget, Mehta said, “BMC had already done the work of soil testing and related works (at the site). Besides, it had to foot some contingency bills also, therefore, BMC made this provision.” In addition, the BMC proposed Rs 44 crore as capital investment for the BEST undertaking and allocated Rs 3 crore 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 2 crore for night shelter support system, Rs 1 crore for Mayor’s new bungalow in Dadar, Rs 5 crore for constructing a 16-storey building for working women in suburban Goregaon. Speaking to mediapersons after presenting the budget, Mehta said, “We have focused on development projects for improvement of city’s infrastructure like roads, storm water drains, bridges, solid waste management, water projects as well as to provide basic amenities to Mumbaikars.”
(With PTI inputs)