MUMBAI: The BMC on Thursday unveiled the city’s budget for 2022-23 with an 18% increase in outlay, much of the additional allocations earmarked for health and education apart from a sizable chunk for capital expenditure. No new taxes have been proposed nor any freebies announced in the run-up to the civic elections, which marks the end of a five-year term for the Shiv Sena-controlled administration.
The budget has risen to Rs 45,949 crore from Rs 39,038 crore, but BMC has dipped into special and reserve funds (Rs 14,704 crore) for lo- ans and withdrawals to boost spending.
Overall, 15% of funds are reserved for health. Huge provisions have been made to upgrade primary health centres by equipping them for a range of tests and diagnostics. BMC proposes to staff them with consultants to ease pressure on secondary and tertiary hospitals in Mumbai. With school enrollment up after the pandemic, the education budget has also been increased to carry out repairs and upgrade facilities. Projects to mitigate climate change and encourage use of clean energy—seen to be spearheaded by environment minister Aaditya Thackeray—have been prioritised. A user fee on bulk waste generators and a penalty on unauthorised constructions, twice the property tax rate, has been proposed.