With few amendments, JMC budget passed unanimously

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 May 2017 11:26:12

Staff Reporter ,

AFTER day-long debate, proposed budget of Jabalpur Municipal Corporation (JMC) for 2017-2018 was passed unanimously on Tuesday. The ruling party accepted some significant amendments as suggested by the Opposition members. Though it has not rolled back proposed tax increment but has slashed both property and water tax to a great extent. Reduction in proposed municipal taxes has given much relief to citizens as well as happiness to the Opposition members for which they have been pressurising the treasury bench for six days.

The Opposition members discussed in detail the proposed budget for six days. They have proposed several amendments to the budget and also lashed at the treasury bench for not bringing several necessary proposals in the budget and for increasing taxes. They also grilled ruling party over door-to-door garbage collection, water scarcity and various other civic problems prevailing in the city.

Now, with decrease in proposed water cess (jal shulk), taxpayers will have to pay Rs 2,045 per year. Earlier, water tax was Rs 1,680. Now citizens will have to pay Rs 1 extra per day for water. Likewise, Bhoo Bhata in property tax has been reduced from proposed 20 per cent to merely 6 per cent. At the end of the meeting Mayor Dr Swati Godbole replied to suggestions, allegations and demands of the Opposition members.

Dr Godbole said she is fully determined towards overall development of the city. She said much has been done in last two-and-half years and a lot more needs to be done for development of the city in true sense. She assured the Opposition members of including significant amendments proposed in the budget. She also narrated development works of her tenure. Dr Godbole said she had paid equal attention to development of squares, gardens, ponds and roads.

The Mayor said the Municipal Corporation is paying heed to proper cleanliness and Smart City works. The adjourned budget meeting was re-organised at 11 am. Leader of Opposition Rajesh Sonkar, former Leader of Opposition Vinay Saxena, Rajesh Yadav, Jatin Raj, Arti Lodhi and others spoke at length on the budget. They vent ire over irregularities in door-to-door garbage collection and opposed increment in water tax.

They said the ruling party is paying utter negligence towards execution of door-to-door garbage collection. They said 80 per cent workers who have been deployed for the work are not showing up at work. The Opposition members also grilled the treasury bench for not ensuring registration of vehicles used for the purpose. They said unregistered vehicles are violating traffic rules. Saxena also demanded physical verification of all vehicles deployed for door-to-door garbage collection. Vinay Saxena demanded for English medium schools, hospitals, traffic training for big organisations, proper health facilities etc.

He said purpose of JMC must not be commercial. It should work to provide better civic amenities to citizens apart from realising heavy tax from them. Following Opposition’s demands the ruling party has reduced proposed property tax from 20 to 6 per cent and increased Rs 1 on water cell. Apart from that it has raised Corporators’ fund from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 48 lakh. Now, with passing of the budget unanimously, chances of Opposition going to the Court against tabling of budget late is almost over.