Our cities with crumbling infrastructure may mirror a sorry state of affairs, but did you know that some of our municipal corporations are the richest in Asia? Don’t believe it? Just flip through our slideshow to find out the staggering cash pile on which they are sitting and how they are utilizing it.
Also known as the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, it is considered the richest in Asia. Over the years it has accumulated a massive Rs.75, 538 crores in reserves. Biggest contributors to it have been taxes – GST (before the implementation of GST it raked in the moolah from “octroi”) and property tax. Other sources that has helped fatten its bank balance are water and sewerage charges, receipts from development of extra floor space and capital gains on investments. Areas where it funnels a large chunk of its earnings are of course local infrastructure such as sewage systems, bridges, roads, water supply projects and others. In fact, BMCs expenditure is double that of Goa and more than the GDPs of many North Eastern states. The urban local body in charge of the health and welfare of the satellite town adjoining Pune vies with Mumbai for the title of the richest municipal corporation in Asia! PCMC earns big bucks from the small and big national and multinational companies the region is home to. Also filling its coffers are building permissions, water supply, fire brigade department, land records and property tax. Its satellite town of Pimpri-Chinchwad may make five times more than it vis-à-vis revenue, but PMC still makes the cut. The caretaker of the second-largest city in Maharashtra, it has been a big spender. Its budget has been slightly over Rs.6000 crore this year. Most of it has been earmarked for high capacity mass transit route (inner ring route), completion of a round-the-clock water scheme, building of new parking lots, river development project and building of a riverfront city, among others. However, one cause of concern for PMC has been its falling revenue – this year itself it is expected to see a shortfall of Rs.600 crore from its target Rs.1800 crore. This is because of the poor collection of property taxes and income from sky signs and building permissions. Its main source of income is GST and property tax and city development charges. Housing India’s billion dollars’ worth tech industry, the municipal corporation predictably enough made it to the list. Its main sources of income are property tax, advertisement tax and rentals on buildings owned by it (the Public Utility Building on MG Road, for instance, generates half of its rental of over Rs.6.6 crore). This year BBMP presented a Rs.10,688 crore budget in February. Most of it was allocated towards effective administration, empowering women, providing financial security and creating a healthy environment in the city. For the 2019-20 fiscal, the urban local body presented a Rs.8051 crore budget. This is almost 15 percent higher than previous year. AMC expects Rs.5,197 crore in revenue this year. A substantial portion of it would be from octroi. Some of the key areas under AMC are health, education, sewerage, public transport and infrastructure. And it would be safe to say that it has delivered well on most fronts! Almost 92 percent of its spending is earned through revenue and its revenues come to around Rs.3,572 crore. Most of it is from property tax. For 2019-20, NDMC’s budget is Rs 4,172.34 crore. A major portion of it would be funneled towards education and smart governance.