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Financial Management

Rs. 500 crore more for development mission

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The Hindu                     22.03.2013

Rs. 500 crore more for development mission

Staff Reporter 

Funding will henceforth beproject based.

Mega city development mission has covered a number of civic improvement works in the past few years including the expanded areas. In the State Budget for 2013-14 Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam announced an additional Rs. 500 crore for works under the mega city development mission.

On Thursday he said “In the last two years, this government allocated Rs. 1,000 crore under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission. These allocations will strengthen the financial capacity of urban local bodies to take up more projects.”

“In order to leverage additional funds to take up more projects under these mission mode programmes, funding will henceforth be project based and grant would be restricted to a maximum of 75 per cent of the project cost for Chennai Corporation and financially stronger local bodies.”

Local body contributions

“The balance of 25 per cent shall be leveraged through local body contributions which may include loans from financial institutions. For the financially weaker urban local bodies, grant component of the project will be 90 per cent and the remaining 10 per cent will be financed through own funds or loans or by dovetailing from Infrastructure Gap Filling Fund,” he said.

The State government in 2012 gave financial approval for a grid system of roads, street lights, street furniture, footpaths and stormwater drains in zones comprising the expanded areas of Chennai Corporation as part of the Mega City Development Mission.

Mr. Panneerselvam in his revised budget for 2011-12 had announced that Rs. 500 crore under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission would supplement the available funds under various schemes.

With the conclusion of the World Bank-assisted TNUDP III, such funding was being made available for improvement of infrastructure and basic amenities in urban local bodies.

But many works under the mega city development mission continue to be delayed in Chennai for want of better monitoring.

“The work order has been issued for a number of works. But zonal-level officials are unable to make the contractors complete the work by the deadline. There should be a better monitoring mechanism,” said an official of Chennai Corporation.

Many works under the mission continue to be delayed in Chennai.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 March 2013 06:20
 

Civic budget: Mayor goes to school

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The Times of India                     15.03.2013 

Civic budget: Mayor goes to school

COIMBATORE: The corporation budget presented by mayor S M Velusamy on Thursday stood out for the absence of any big idea.

Education got maximum fund allocation and infrastructure projects for water and sewage were promised for areas newly added to the corporation. No major infrastructure project like metro or mono rail features in the budget document but there is mention of subways and multi-level car parking which have already received the approval of the corporation. "The completion of the announced projects and the ongoing projects are the top priority of the city municipal corporation," said Velusamy, mayor, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation.

The mayor has budgeted for deficit of Rs 20.99 crore with income for the financial year 2013-14 estimated at Rs 808.12 crore as against expenditure of Rs 829.11 crore.

The major focus of the budget is on education sector and corporation school students are likely to benefit. Ranging from the distribution of tablets to 36 boys and six girls from the special corporation school for hearing and speech impaired students to self defence training for girl students from Class 8 upwards, the city corporation has made significant allocations. Career counselling, smart class rooms and yoga training will also now be a feature of corporation schools. "All the proposals included in the budget will be realised and allocations were made to ensure that the budget is balanced and effective in all aspects," said G Latha, commissioner, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation.

Expectedly, the corporation has focussed on beefing up infrastructure in the city suburbs that have been recently added to the corporation. New water distribution lines at the expense of Rs 80 lakh will be built for Kavundampalayam and Vadavalli areas. Water distribution lines in Kurichi and Kuniamuthur areas that draw water from the Aaliyar drinking water supply scheme will be built. The corporation will seek funds from the state government for these projects once a Detailed Project Report is prepared. The civic body has also allocated a crore each for implementing the Integrated Underground Sewage and stormwater drain in 40 newly-added wards of the corporation.

For the core city, Rs 2 crore has been allocated for two skywalks near Coimbatore Medical College Hospital and Singanallur Bus Stand. The corporation has also allocated Rs 12.75 crore for developing a new road from Kovaipudur to Puttuviki locality after the completion of a new bridge at Puttuviki. The route is expected to serve as an alternate way for Kerala-bound vehicles that need not enter the city centre. The corporation has announced the construction of special modernised toilets for women at Singanallur and Ukkadam bus stands and also at Corporation SRP Ammani Ammal and Oppanakara Street Girls Higher Secondary Schools. "The special toilets should be constructed at Mettupalayam and Gandhipuram bus stands," said V Ramamoorthy, CPM councillor ward no 21.

The budget has also made provision for shifting Thiagi Kumaran Market from the Town Hall area to another location with better parking facilities. Additional allocation has been allocated for shifting Aringar Anna Vegetable Market near Sai Baba Colony to Kavundampalayam, which was announced in the previous budget with an allocation of Rs 50 lakh.

Health sector will receive Rs 50 lakh for upgrading urban health posts and for conducting medical camps for sanitary workers.

Playgrounds in all five zones and 20 corporation schools are to be expanded and funds amounting to Rs 1.1 crore have been allotted for the purpose. Ten new parks in five corporation zones including two women and childrens' only parks are included in the proposals with an allocation of Rs 2 crore for these projects.

Councillors from DMK and Congress, the main opposition, boycotted the budget discussion session and claimed the corporation has only rehashed previous projects in the budget. "There is absolutely nothing new in the budget and almost everything has been already announced. Most of the announcements including skywalks and other proposed projects are long pending," said A Nandakumar, leader of opposition, CMC.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 11:59
 

Corporation to improve tax collection, revise rent for its establishments

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The Hindu                      15.03.2013

Corporation to improve tax collection, revise rent for its establishments

R. Prabhakaran, Chairman, Finance and Taxation Committee—PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN
R. Prabhakaran, Chairman, Finance and Taxation Committee—PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN.
 
Budget with Rs. 20.98 crore presented.

Finance and Taxation Committee Chairperson R. Prabhakaran on Thursday presented the AIADMK-led Council’s second budget that has a deficit of Rs. 20.98 crore.

He said that the revenue receipts and capital receipts stood at Rs. 808.12 crore and the revenue expenditure and capital expenditure at Rs. 829.11 crore. Last year’s deficit was Rs. 27.70 crore.

The Corporation would make good the deficit by improving the tax collection and revising rent for its establishments. Mayor S.M. Velusamy later told reporters that the civic body had revised and fixed the market value as rent for shops, the rents of which were due for revision. This had led to an increase in revenue from Rs. 4.50 crore to Rs. 14 crore.

The civic body had a very high percentage of tax collection, which was another reason to not worry about the Rs. 20.98 crore deficit.

Mr. Prabhakaran substantiated this in his budget speech wherein he said that tax collection had increased from Rs. 104.00 crore to Rs. 115 crore during 2011-12. At present, 82 per cent tax assessment job was complete and once the task was completely over, the property tax demand would go up to Rs. 128 crore. To further increase revenue he introduced a new tax – name transfer fee. “Every year the Coimbatore Corporation receives applications for name transfers due to sale of properties, transactions, execution of wills and transfer of properties to legal heirs.”

“After such change of ownership of property, the property tax and vacant land tax assessments undergo name change. For every such name change, the Coimbatore Corporation will collect Rs. 200 or 0.1 per cent of the property value – whichever is higher as name transfer fee.”

On the development front, Mr. Prabhakaran said that the Corporation would have a new record room at Rs. 75 lakh, a new Thiyagi Kumaran Market at Rs. 2.50 crore, build staff quarters for sanitary workers, impart skill training for students, career guidance programme for Class X and Plus Two students and a new e-learning facility for students at Rs. 1 crore. He also spoke of upgrading noon meal centres, providing tablet computers to students of the Corporation’s Special School at R.S. Puram, improving laboratories at Corporation schools, renovating playgrounds and appointment of a sports officer to improve sports in schools.

 


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