But new hassle as BBMP budget proposes shift to capital value system of property tax with an eye on Central grants
Decentralisation initiated with Rs 2,000-crore allocation for zonal-level work
Encouraged by ICRA’s A+ credit rating, BBMP hopes to tap market for funds
There’s some relief for Bengalureans as there is no increase in property tax in the budget presented by Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for the financial year 2021-22. However, the civic body plans to changed the method of calculating property tax from the current self-assessment scheme to the capital value system adopted other cities in Karnataka.
BBMP’s budget, prepared with inputs from BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad and BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta, was at the instance of Gupta read out by Special Commissioner (Finance) Thulasi Maddineni on Saturday.
In its focus on property tax, the budget document says: “BBMP runs on the taxes paid by the citizens. We are aware of the economic distress caused by Covid-19 and therefore the tax rates are not increased. However, our resource mobilization has to improve to provide better services to the citizens.
“Therefore, better enforcement to bring unassessed properties into the tax net and correction of zonal misclassification would be vigorously done. Already 78,000 notices have been generated for under-assessed properties by using GIS tools and more are in the process of identification.
“This year we would be moving to the capital value system of property tax assessment. We are the only urban local body which has not shifted to the capital value system in our state. This is an essential requirement for receiving funds under the 15th Finance Commission. The necessary ground work is being done.”
Among the budget highlights are:
• The government has enabled financial and administrative decentralization at the zonal levels of BBMP, assembly constituencies and ward levels by introducing the BBMP Act 2020, and a fund of Rs 2,000 crore has been distributed for zones.
• It is intended to provide a fund of 1% of the collected property tax in order to promote the participation of citizens in property tax collection.
• On the basis of demand from citizens, each ward committee will be given Rs 20 lakh for repairing of footpaths under a ‘footpath for citizens’ initiative.
• It has been decided to introduce E-Property Software for all properties in BBMP limits in the current financial year.
• A new software has been developed under the framework of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, which will have end-to-end linkages from building licence to occupation certificate. This allows use of unified software for submitting a single application and ensures that the process is simplified.
• BBMP has been awarded an A+ credit rating by ICRA for its disciplined financial management and this needs to be retained in the coming years. BBMP can raise funds from the financial market through municipal bonds in the years to come by putting in place financial discipline and introducing reforms in the account management system.
• All works will be spot-examined through the technical vigilance cell.
‘B’ khata on way out
• Preparatory works are being carried out to cancel the “B” format registration of properties with the cooperation of the Revenue Department so that the system becomes more transparent and will be complementary to systematic development.
• The aim is to recover rent from buildings of BBMP markets and a revenue collection of Rs 38 crore is expected. Since the proposals to increase the rents of these buildings are facing legal disputes, it has been decided to frame an intervention plan to enable revision of the rental charges.
• Solid waste management is one of the works which accounts for a major expense by BBMP and funds of Rs 1,622 crore is allocated which also includes funds of Rs 522 crore for ongoing works.
Just 67 more toilets?
• Public toilets will be maintained as per ODF++ specifications and it is aimed to construct 67 new toilets.
• It has been decided to award Rs 5,000 to every Poura Karmika through direct payment to facilitate the celebration of Dr BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary in a grander manner.
• The applications for social welfare schemes and projects that are going to be announced hereafter can be submitted through Bengaluru One centres and website of BBMP.
•The present incentivized financial assistance Rs 25,000 for SSLC/PUC students of BBMP schools and colleges who get more than 85% has been continued.
• It has been decided to introduce award a sum of Rs 2 lakh as an incentive for the entire faculty who strive to provide quality education in SSLC/PUC schools and colleges of BBMP.
• It has been proposed to set up an internal review cell which facilitates vigilance on works, procedures being followed and maintenance of documents.
Parks and gardening
• There are about 1,200 parks under BBMP. These are prominent sources of providing quality oxygen for citizens. Maintainance of all parks will be done under the supervision of ward committees through a ward-wise tendering process. An amount of Rs 214 crore is provided for this person and the contact details of persons responsible for maintenance will be displayed in all the parks.
• It has been decided to encourage gardening activities in homes and rooftops of homes by assisting in preparation of compost. It is also decided to conduct competitions for rooftop gardens at the zonal level and to award prize money of Rs 1 lakh for each zone.
• The index of air quality is also an indicator of quality of life. It has been proposed to have management centres equipped with state of the art air quality testing equipment and devices.
Lakes and street lights
• It has been decided to preserve the lake areas and a fund of Rs 10 crore has been allocated to incorporate fencing around the lake areas.
•It has been decided to replace all the street lights of the city of Bengaluru under the LED lighting implementation project and 1 lakh LED street bulbs will be fixed by July 2021 in the first stage.
• Priority will be given for completing works which are in progress and funds have been allocated for maintenance works. This also includes the objective of completing the bigger works such as the construction of flyovers within the set timeframe.Budget-Speech-and-ATR-Budget202122
• With a view to the overall development of the city of Bengaluru, the honourable Chief Minister has envisioned the following projects to implement through BBMP and other government undertakings:
• Priority has been given to the integrated traffic management system of the city and plans have been created to implement the upgradation of 12 high-density corridors, and to extend the metro routes and suburban railway.
• Works which are in progress for a longer period, such as Smart City roads, white topping and Tender Sure projects, will be completed and dedicated for public use.
• All efforts will be made to complete Grade Separator projects which have been approved so as to ease the density of vehicular traffic at the earliest.
• Measures have been taken already to revive 25 lakes belonging to BBMP with a view to preserving Greener Bengaluru.
‘Venice’ in Bengaluru!
• The honourable Chief Minister has already performed the stone laying ceremony on March 24 for converting the K-100 Rajakaluve stretching from KR Market to Bellandur as a ‘Citizen Water Way’.
• In order to increase the greenery of the city, the works to establish mega tree parks in Machohalli and Kadugodi and the development of JP Park have been in progress.
• ‘Experience Bengaluru Centres’ will be set up in lands belonging to NGEF and Mysuru Lamps to depict the history, culture and arts of the city and to provide exposure to theyouth to such facts.
• Public services like providing khata, information/payment of property tax, birth/death certificates, business licence, map of buildings, etc will be simplified in online mode and a unified digital portal system will be made available.