State hikes LBT compensation from `11 cr to `75 cr a month
TO COVER LOSSES This is the highest grant being given to any municipal body in the state
The cash-strapped Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) will now get Rs75.53 crore every month from the state government in lieu of the abolishment of the Local Body Tax (LBT).
The decision has come as a new year gift to the NMMC administration that had been following up with the state to increase the Rs11 crore grant.
“We had been following up with the state on the grant issue for the past few months. We had discussions with the urban development minister, finance department and also the chief secretary on the issue,” said municipal commissioner Dinesh Waghmare.
He said, “The decision to revise the grant was taken during the assembly session. From January to March this financial year, NMMC will get Rs75.53 crore every month. This is the highest grant being given to any civic body in the state.”
Pune Municipal Corporation will get Rs50 crore while Thane Municipal Corporation Rs30 crore every month. The government announced its decision during the recently concluded winter session of assembly in Nagpur.
Deputy municipal commissioner (LBT) Umesh Wagh said, “For the past few months, development works had slowed down. Priority is being given to complete pending projects.”
Cess and LBT were the biggest sources of revenue for the civic body. NMMC used to earn around Rs60 crore from LBT every month.
However, when the state decided to discontinue LBT last year, the civic body suffered a major financial setback.
This led to several development works being stopped in the city.
The state government had then approved a grant of Rs11 crore every month to offset NMMC’s loss from LBT.
According to an NMMC source, the officials had reportedly not given adequate information to the government and had failed in follow ups, leading to the loss.
The NMMC, once considered to be one of the richest in the state, started facing a financial crunch and bill payments to contractors were delayed. A special general body was organised to discuss the financial issues.
Waghmare and Wagh had then followed up with the government to get an increased grant.