Deficit likely to be made up by collection of tax arrears

Thanjavur City Corporation, in its maiden budget, has allocated Rs. 114 crore for development during 2014-15. The funds would be utilised for road improvement, drinking water facility, solid waste management, and street lights.

Mayor Savithiri Gopal, who presented the budget, said that revenue to the corporation would be Rs. 182.93 crore. But the expenditure would be Rs. 183.91 crore. “Deficit is Rs. 98 lakh and this would be compensated by collection of arrears in property tax, water tax, monthly charges for underground drainage,” she said. The budget had been prepared keeping “urban basic poor” as focus, she added.

A proposal would be prepared to extend the Kollidam river water supply to new areas which had come under corporation limits. Underground drainage would be extended to these areas.

She said that 66 new self-help groups would be formed in the corporation area in 2014-15 to help empower urban poor. An Urban Livelihood Centre and Amma Community Kitchen would be created.

Amma shopping complex would be built for marketing products prepared by the self-help groups. Online payment of tax would be introduced.

A multi-purpose service centre with Automated Teller Machine (ATM) facility will be created. Amma library would be set up.

Fund had been allocated for animal birth control to tackle the stray dog menace. Identity cards would be issued to students studying in corporation schools.

Later, DMK councillors complained that distribution of free mixers, grinders, fans, and so on had been done without consulting the councillors concerned.

The Mayor said she had personally called some of the DMK councillors for distribution function but they did not turn up. Sun Ramanathan, DMK, said taxes should not be raised for the next two-and-a-half years.

The Mayor assured him that there would not be increase in taxes but arrears would be collected.