The TaxPayers Association (TPA) has opposed the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) moves at mortgaging of the public assets to secure bank loans.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, TPA president V. Sambi Reddy and secretary M.V. Anjaneyulu said the corporation had already mortgaged the I.V. Palace and Vatralatha to secure Rs.100 crore loan. The VMC again was poised to mortgage Kaleswara Rao Market to take Rs.50 crore loan from Corporation Bank to keep momentum of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme in the city, they said.

Huge burden

The bank loans have resulted in a huge burden on the Corporation. The VMC would have to shell out all its revenues to pay interest alone on the loans. The Corporation was spending all its revenues to meet its share in JNNURM programmes. As a result, the VMC was unable to pay the salaries and meet the day-to-day expenses as well.

The situation arose as the State government was not releasing the funds that were mandatory. The VMC should mount pressure on the State government to release the funds as per the State Finance Commission recommendations, and its share in professional tax and motor vehicle tax collected by the government. The government would have to release Rs.65.40 crore and Rs.80.41 crore towards professional tax and motor vehicle tax respectively. In all, the city would receive Rs.1,275 crore under all these heads, they said, adding, “the government, however, released meagre Rs.32.84 crore so far.”