Staff Reporter

Mayor signs agreements with Chinese cities

SuggestionsMore power to levy taxes and mobilise revenueHigher devolution of fundsDiversion of professional tax and entertainment taxLaw to enable administrative head take decisions within 15 daysExtension of Mayor's term

BANGALORE: More powers to levy taxes and mobilise revenue, higher devolution of funds and diversion of all proceeds of professional tax and entertainment tax to the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP)... these are some of the recommendations made by the delegation of Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) officials and corporators, led by the Mayor Mumtaz Begum, after their return from a visit to China.

On an invitation from the Indo-China Software Association, the delegation recently visited four cities of Chengdu, Nanchang, Xinyu and Guangzhou in China and signed a sister city relationship with the city of Chengdu and friendship agreement with the other three cities.

Impressed with the civic administration in these cities, the delegation has urged the Government to empower the BMP to levy more taxes.

"Administrative system within the BMP should be made more quicker and responsive. The financial powers given to the BMP Commissioner and the Standing Committees should be enhanced. There should be a law that the administrative head of the civic body should take decisions within 15 days," the Mayor said.

Pointing out that the Mayors in cities of China enjoyed extreme powers, Ms. Begum said she favoured the extension of the Mayor's term. "Mayors in Indian cities do not have any powers and this is affecting development works," she said.

Stating that it would be advisable to merge the surrounding city municipal councils with the BMP, the Mayor said a single agency should be entrusted with all civic responsibilities.

Impressed with the functioning of hi-tech zones on the periphery of China, the Mayor said hi-tech zones could also contribute to the city's revenue.

"In China, 33 per cent of taxes collected by the provinces and seven per cent of the turnover of information technology companies is diverted towards city governance," she said.

The Mayor, who has also been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Jiangxi Vocational College of Ahead Software in China, said a team of town planners and experts from China would soon visit Bangalore to study the growth of infrastructure here. "We will request the team to chalk out a proposal for the improvement of the city," the Mayor added.