The development works in Nagpur city are likely to take a severe beating after the Standing Committee of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) presents the budget for 2013-2014. Till now the Standing Committee always presented the budgets with a demand for additional funds than the budget forwarded by the NMC Commissioner. However, the trend is likely to get a full stop this year. The budget for this year would be a hot topic of discussion. Similarly, the Chairman of Standing Committee, Avinash Thakre will face a great challenge and would have to pass an acid test.
Following the enforcement of Local Body Tax (LBT) in place of octroi duty all over the Maharashtra, this year’s NMC budget could be presented with 200 crore deficit thus hitting the development works hard, claimed over a dozen former Standing Committee chairmen.
The budget is likely to be presented after the Mayor Anil Sole returns from a foreign tour. Last month, the NMC Commissioner Shyam Vardhane had presented a proposed budget of Rs 1232 crore for 2013-2014. The budget showed revenue of Rs 540 crore from Octroi duty. It may be mentioned that Octroi duty was most important and also the biggest source of revenue for NMC. Till now, the Octroi duty revenue was 50 per cent of total NMC budget. Unfortunately, the Maharashtra Government replaced octroi duty system by LBT even before beginning of current fiscal year. The outcome of LBT would be the net loss over Rs 200 crore and the bad effect on development works. The traders had also protested the LBT and called for the bandh which lasted up to a week.
The Chairman of Standing Committee Avinash Thakre after taking the post was busy in preparing such a budget that would benefit people at large as well as pleasing the Opposition leaders. However, instead of asking for suggestion from his colleagues and experts in the field, he is trying hard to prove his instincts. Possibly, Avinash Thakre has prepared the budget to be presented without consulting the experts and his colleagues. The budget will take 8 or 10 days for printing and after adding shortcomings and deleting the mistakes, the final budget would be presented. The Standing Committee Chairman and other former chairmen consider that this budget would of deficit unlikely the previous budgets. This year’s budget would be presented looking into the financial condition of the NMC. Till now, most of the chairmen submitted the proposed budgets to NMC Commissioners with a demand for additional funds. If Thakre submits the budget with no additional fund demand the he will be first Chairman to do so.
Former Standing Committee Chairman Sandip Joshi had presented the budget with an additional demand of Rs 150 crore. During his tenure, the meetings used to be over within 10 minutes. One of the members even stated that most of members were afraid of questioning any decision of Sandip Joshi and that is why they never raised any issue in General Body Meeting of NMC. But according to rules after a thorough discussion on any subject the decision was taken. The members were forced to remain silent by offering them a “reward”. The only exception was Dayashankar Tiwari who never acceded to the committee members’ demands.