‘White Paper’ on cash-strapped NMC demanded

With the financial condition of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) dwindling each passing day, a NCP leader has demanded the local body should come out with a White Paper on the present status.

In a letter submitted to the Municipal Commissioner the Nationalist Congress Party leader Vedprakash Arya pointed out that NMC incurs an expenditure of Rs 78.81 crore on various counts per month such as salaries, pension, electricity, petrol-diesel, phones-faxes, vehicle rentals, share towards JNNURM projects, cleanliness-sanitation, lighting repairs etc. By this count, the NMC spends Rs 945 crore annually.

The local body has to depend on loans taken from Bank of Maharashtra to meet these expenses. The NMC procured a loan of Rs 200 crore in 2011-12, Rs 200 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 100 crore in 2016-17. With the scrapping of LBT and Octroi, the cash-strapped civic body is paying salaries to regular employees once in two months. Bills of its contractors for various works are pending for months, Arya said.

According to the NCP leader, privatisation of water has hit the NMC hard by way of loss of Rs 100 crore annually. Currently, the NMC is grappling with its meagre sources of income such as Water Tax, Property Tax, Town Planning Department, Fire Brigade, rents/lease levies from Market Department, etc. However, only 60 percent of recovery is achieved due to short of hands and dismal policy of the administration. The scrapping of LBT has dealt a severe blow to the economy of the NMC. It has become handicapped and has to rely on ‘alms’ of State Government. With the state of affairs, the NMC has remained local self-governing body on papers only.

“Looking into the messy financial condition of NMC the administration should come out with White Paper,” demanded Arya.