Coimbatore

Resolution reveals Corpn. sought one-time special grant of ₹142.06 crore from govt.

Nine months ago the Coimbatore Corporation went rushing to the State Government demanding over ₹100 crore saying it was unable to pay salary and pension, besides payments to contractors.

The details of the frantic call the Corporation made in December 2020 came to light now with the council resolutions out in the open. The Corporation sought a one-time special grant of ₹142.06 crore from the State Government saying it had not paid contractors for projects completed, pension for 112 workers who had retired in the recent past and private agencies for workers engaged on contract – all adding up to ₹222.46 crore.

Of the total amount, the Corporation sought only ₹142.06 crore it ought to pay the contractors. And, in asking for the money, the Corporation said it wanted the money accounted for as grant and not loan.

To justify its demand, the Corporation said it had since 2011, when the city expanded to include 11 added areas, taken up various development works. In April 2018 when its property tax demand was ₹176.94 crore, the State Government’s order revising property tax rate saw its demand jump to ₹302.96 crore.

But the Government reversing the tax revision order pushed the total tax demand to ₹176.94 crore. In the process the Corporation was also forced to adjust the ₹53.28 crore it had collected between the first order and second order.

In 2019-20, it adjusted ₹13.85 crore, in 2020-21 ₹32.89 crore and in 2021-22 ₹6.54 crore. Even as it went about adjusting the tax collected, the Government waiving non-tax items like rent dented its revenue by another ₹3.06 crore, the Corporation said.

Further explaining its plight, the Corporation said the Government adjusting the principal and interest against the State Finance Commission Grant had left it almost nothing. It was at that point in time, it had incurred an unplanned expenditure of ₹36.21 crore to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Corporation had also paid around ₹230 crore – its share of cost of projects executed under the then Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Mission – and ₹74.18 crore towards servicing interest-free loans it had taken from the State Government.

It had paid the money from its General Fund, which had also impacted its capacity to carry out development works, the Corporation said to further justify its demand for the one-time grant.

Sources in the civic body said the Government consented to the Corporation’s demand and released the sum. But this had not, however, brought the Corporation out of the woods as it continued to reel under financial stress.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:14:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/resolution-reveals-corpn-sought-one-time-special-grant-of-14206-crore-from-govt/article36687020.ece

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