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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­ Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion

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.

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