The cash-strapped East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) presented its revised annual budget for 2016-17 on November 7. It also tabled the budget estimation for the next financial year (2017-18).
The EDMC deficit reached a staggering Rs 2,243.25 crore in 2016-17. The commissioner, Dr Mohanjeet Singh, who presented the annual budget before the standing committee of the civic body, said that grants from the Delhi government would be essential for it to be able to continue providing civic facilities.
EDMC commissioner, Dr Mohanjeet Singh, presents the budget before the standing committee
For the next financial year, the corporation has proposed an estimated revenue collection of Rs 1,578.88 crore against an estimated expenditure of Rs 3,822.13 crore. In 2016-17, the estimated expenditure stood at Rs 3,519.41 crore against a revenue of Rs 1,478.41 crore.
According to EDMC data, the revenue-expenditure gap increased by around Rs 200 crore against the last financial year.
To tide over the crisis, the EDMC has proposed three new taxes under the heads education cess, professional taxes and service charges. It expects to generate around Rs 30 crore through them. However, the corporation has not proposed an increase on house tax and property tax, which is one of the main sources of revenue.
“The deficit of Rs 2,243.25 crore in 2016-17 can be overcome only with financial assistance from the Delhi government. If the Delhi government implements the fourth finance commission, the EDMC will get Rs 4,928 crore, due from 2014-15,” said Dr Singh.
When City Spidey spoke to the RWAs and residents of Cooperative Group Housing Societies, the general perception was that the EDMC has reached such dire straits owing to its wrong policies and corruption within. Many residents also contradicted the EDMC's view that its expenditure has increased manifold in comparison to revenue.
BS Vohra, president of the federation of East Delhi RWAs, said, "In the last five-six years, the number of properties have increased in East Delhi. Then, how is it that the corporation is running losses? The RWAs have always supported the policies of the corporation, but we are not getting better services for doing so,” complained Vohra.
Puruosttam Das Bhatt, president of United India Apartment, a CGHS in Mayur Vohar Phase 1 Extension, opined, "How is a deficit possible when various sources of revenue collection have gone up in last five to six years? It is completely unacceptable! The number of property owners have gone up, one-storey buildings have turned into four stories, hoardings on roads have increased, the number of vehicles has increased at every parking spot, why then is the corporation in such a mess! There is certainly corruption in the tendering process.”
SC Bhatia, secretary of Vasundhara CGHS, said, “The corporation will not improve its revenue if it persists in its approach. Also, there is absolute lack of co-operation between the public representatives and the officials.”
TAGS: East Delhi Municipal Corporation / EDMC / Annual Budget / Revenue Collection / Estimated Expenditure / RWAs / Residents / Cooperative Group Housing Societies / CGHS