RAWALPIND: The Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has approved a budget of Rs3.18 billion for financial year 2018-19.
No new tax has been added in the budget nor any previous tax fee or percentage increased. Before the budget was presented and after it was approved, the meeting was a constant ruckus as every member was speaking and shouting at the same time.
The meeting rejecting the ban imposed by the secretary local government on the participation of municipal representatives in the election campaign of the general elections approved a resolution presented by Malik Sultan Mehmood in favour of ending the ban with a majority.
The resolution appealed to the chief election commissioner and caretaker government to end the ban and term the ban as pre-poll rigging. At the end of the meeting, prayers were recited for the recovery of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
The mayor allotting Rs20 million for 11 sewerage canals of the city expressed shame and grief on failure to retrieve the dead bodies of three children who drowned in the sewerage canals of Dhok Khuba.
During the meeting, Municipal Officer Finance Shehzad Nasir Gondal was criticised for ignoring the rights of subordinate staff.
The budget meeting was presided by deputy mayor and convener Chaudhry Tariq Mehmood. Chief Municipal Officer Shafqat Raza and other officers too participated in the meeting.
Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan presenting the budget informed that the non-development expenditures have been reduced to increase the resources for development schemes.
He informed that under the building application and commercial conversion fees, Rs260 million have been recovered instead of the target of Rs65 million.
The target for the next year has been kept at Rs210 million. He informed that Rs1.64 billion have been allocated for development projects.
He also said that from source earnings UIP tax, R330 million rupees have been received and after 15% of the amount has been paid as tax to the department of excise and taxation, 50% will be received.
He also said that earnings of Rs150 million from TIP tax, Rs381.5 million from Punjab Finance Commission award, Rs3.69 million from general bus stand, Rs139.6 million from rent of shops, Rs210 million from building conversion fees, Rs15.8 million from slaughter house is expected.
The solid waste management company will be given Rs851.5 million by the Punjab government. He said that in order to make the municipal services better, RMC will purchase two new funeral buses, office generator, five staff cars, two small vehicles for fitting and repairing street lights will be bought with Rs50.6 million.
The mayor informed that Rs160 million have been earmarked for the pensions of retired employees while an amount of Rs15 million rupees has been set aside for the assistance of orphans, widows of employees and people of special needs.
The mayor informed the meeting that for the current financial year, Rs1.6 billion have been allocated for a total of 684 projects.
He said that 464 projects were completed while Rs574.4 million has been kept for 220 projects that were underway.
For the next financial year, Rs750 million have been allocated for development projects. Of these projects, a community centre Chamanzar will be completed at the cost of Rs25 million.
Another Rs20 million will be spent on the designing of the under construction Jinnah Hall. At least Rs50 million has been kept as funds for the disposal of the mayor. Another Rs635 million have been allocated for the developments schemes of the elected members of Municipal Corporation.
The meeting was attended by Sultan Mehmood, Khalid Butt, Zeeshan Ahmed, Chaudhry Mushtaq, Iqbal Satti, Mumtaz Khan, Amirul Din, Raja Maqsood, Abid Abbasi, Raja Yaseen, Malik Hafeez and Jamil Akhtar.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2018.
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