The fixing of water meters, increase in water cess and revision of the property tax are some of the possible outcomes of the exercises of the VMC officials.

Brace up! The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is actively working out on the reforms to be implemented in the city. The reforms could be in water supply, garbage and tax collection as well.

The fixing of water meters, increase in water cess and revision of the property tax are some of the possible outcomes of the exercises of the VMC officials.

Conditions

The corporation officials are of the view that the reforms are imminent if the government has to release the dues and funds. They also cite the conditions that would come as riders with projects sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme.

The city has agreed to the conditions, particularly that the corporation would be self-sufficient, and meet its own expenses from the revenues generated in the city.

The gap between revenues generated and expenditure is keeping the corporation on tenterhooks. The recovery of expenditure incurred on water supply is a mere 40 per cent through charges.

The VMC is unable to pay the salaries of employees in time. The incapacity of the corporation on salaries front had a cascading effect on the services delivery, says Suvarna Panda Das, who took over as Municipal Commissioner recently.

Without mincing words, Mr. Das has said, “The reforms are imminent.

The VMC is working out on the reforms to be carried out.”

The VMC has to pay Rs. 8 crore to contractors and Rs. 2 crore contingency bills. The EMDs will be another Rs. 1.74 crore. The corporation is unable to meet its share in the JNNURM projects. The tax collections such as Vacant Land Tax (VLT) need to be improved.

The gap between revenue and expenditure will have to be bridged, says Mr. Das.

When asked whether the government had released the first instalment of funds under the bail out package, he has said, “I would not comment on it.”

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