No sops in the last BMC budget before civic polls
MUMBAI: Presenting its last budget before the all-important elections to the BMC next year, municipal commissioner chief Ajoy Mehta on Wednesday bucked the trend of a populist offering on poll-eve and instead came up with a no-frills one. No increase in your direct taxes, but no new projects either.
Mehta’s budget size was a whopping Rs37,052.15 crore, an increase of 9.5 % over the last year’s budget outlay of Rs33,519.15 crore. The budget, however, raised octroi on the import of crude into the city by refineries, which could push up petrol and diesel rates a bit.
The budget could intensify the squabbling between the ruling allies in the state and the civic body, the BJP and the Shiv Sena.
With an eye on the elections, the Sena, which heads the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corportation, was naturally keen on a populist budget -- major infrastructure projects and enhanced public spending. It may see this low-key offering as a deliberate ploy by the BJP -- which heads the state government and, hence, controls the civic administration – to deny the Sena any mileage from sops ahead of the BMC elections.
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