Corporation budget proposes new service charge for private commercial institutions
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The annual budget of the city Corporation for the year 2008-09 proposes a revised property taxation system from April, and a service charge for private commercial institutions.
The budget expects revenue of Rs.509.64 crore and expenditure of Rs.494.02 crore, with a surplus of Rs.15.62 crore.
The revised taxation system will unify the different rates in the old city wards and those annexed from the neighbouring panchayats.
The new service charge will be applicable for high-end hotels, private hospitals, para medical institutions, IT firms and tutorials.
Presenting the budget proposals in the Corporation Council, Deputy Mayor V. Jayaprakash said the new taxation system and service charge were designed to augment the civic body’s revenue. He said the projects taken up with external assistance under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) would be launched this year.
The Opposition UDF said the fresh tax proposals would impose a heavy burden on the common man. Terming the budget as “old wine in a new bottle,” UDF leaders said the ruling front had failed to implement 75 per cent of the proposals announced last year.
The budget proposes an outlay of Rs.40 crore for the EMS Housing Scheme and Rs.23 crore for improvement of 11 slum colonies. An amount of Rs.75 crore has been earmarked for the construction of a sewage treatment plant, 11 pumping stations and augmentation of the network.
Mr. Jayaprakash said hotels would be rewarded for quality of food and sanitation. An award of Rs.1 lakh has been instituted for different categories of hotels. The budget announced a project to promote pollution-free public transport in the city. Later, addressing presspersons, Mayor C. Jayan Babu said development and sanitation were given equal importance in the budget. The garbage treatment plant at Vilappilsala would be modernised and equipped with more facilities for streamlined operation. A ward-level pre-monsoon cleaning operation would be taken up.
The Mayor said the paucity of land and legal hurdles in land acquisition had hampered the implementation of several projects.