Struggling to implement 50 per cent of the budget for the current fiscal, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday submitted an ‘optimistic’ draft budget of Rs 7,650 crore with estimated capital expenditure of Rs 2,928.10 crore for the financial year 2021-22.
“The pandemic has affected the budget implementation in the current fiscal as PMC is likely to have revenue collection of Rs 4,500 crore by March-end this year as against the target of Rs 7,514.31 crore. However, the civic administration has set a budget estimate of Rs 7,650 crore for 2021-22. We are optimistic rather than being pessimistic,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar after submitting the budget estimate to the Standing Committee.
He said that the revenue targets set by the civic administration were not high but achievable. “The property tax has emerged as the largest revenue source for the PMC and is expected to continue further. The property tax target of Rs 2,650 crore is achievable as properties from the newly merged 23 villages are going to come in the civic body’s tax ambit and result in increasing the collection of tax,” Kumar said, adding that the administration has collected Rs 1,370.99 crore from property tax in current fiscal so far against the target of Rs 2,320 crore.
“There will be addition of over one lakh more properties from 23 villages in the tax ambit of PMC. Also, the civic administration will be using an artificial intelligence system to identify unassessed properties in the city,” he said.
The PMC administration was considering the proposed hike of 11 per cent in property tax get approved for 2021-22, which would increase the revenue collection by Rs 130 crore in the next financial year and help with the expenditure to carry out development of basic facilities in the recently merged 23 villages in the civic jurisdiction. The proposed hike will be 5.5 per cent in general tax, 3.5 per cent in cleanliness tax and 2 per cent in the water tax, in addition to a 5 per cent increase in water charges.
The PMC has increased the target of revenue from development charges to Rs 985 crore for 2021-22 as against Rs 750 crore in the current fiscal, even when the civic body was likely to get only Rs 350 crore by March-end. “The pandemic resulted in less revenue from development charges as the real estate industry was also affected due to lockdown. The PMC will get more revenue from development charges as new constructions in the area of 23 newly merged villages have to pay the fees to the civic body,” Kumar said.
The PMC has also identified a new source of revenue from leasing out its amenity space to private organisations, PPP model for road construction and affordable housing projects. “The PMC is also hopeful of increase in revenue with the implementation of unified Development Control rules in the city,” Kumar said.
The civic administration has 246 amenity spaces with a total area of 100 acres and there would be addition to it with the inclusion of new area in the city, the municipal commissioner said. “These amenity spaces can be leased out for long term and can be converted to a regular source of revenue for PMC. It will save civic money on developing infrastructure while ensuring revenue from lease amounts, which will not be less than the ready reckoner of the respective land,” Kumar said.
“The PPP model for road construction and affordable housing projects will save the civic money, which can be used for other purpose. The PMC is ready to issue credit bonds in place of cash or Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) to anyone taking up the development of city roads, affordable housing projects and civic gardens, the civic chief added.