Monday, February 19, 2007

Greater Bangalore dearer

Greater Bangalore dearer
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is busy preparing a ‘bruhat’ maiden budget for Greater Bangalore with bright prospects of slapping on property owners a betterment charge at a probable rate of Rs 50 per square ft. built space. The civic body faces big challenges to augment its revenue base.

It was sanctioned Rs 120 crores grants as per State Finance Commission (SFC) recommendations and with new areas added, it might be increased to a maximum of Rs 200 crore. This along with a property tax demand of Rs 600 crores in the Greater Bangalore would not be sufficient to fund an expenditure budget of about Rs 4500 crore, said BBMP officials.

The new areas are estimated to have about 5 lakh property. With each property having an average built-up area of 1000 square feet, one-time betterment charge of Rs 50 per sq ft would bring in Rs 2,500 crores.

Last year, it was thought that government will have to shell out this sum as one-time grant to Greater Bangalore. Now, the same is being raised in the form of charges for betterment of services.

However, the levy would come heavily on property owners as it would work out to be Rs 50,000 per property and it would be in addition to proposed health cess. The government has also proposed to levy infrastructure cess on vehicles hoping to offset loss of octroi to civic body.

BBMP officials said that the budget discussions are still underway and a final decision would be taken by next week.


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