Ignoring the government’s Covid-19 protocol against gatherings, the UDF-led ruling front under Mayor Soumini Jain presented the last annual budget of the present council. Deputy Mayor K R Premkumar, who presented the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal, expected a revenue receipt of Rs 998.88 crore and an expenditure of Rs 955.83 crore, with an adjusted surplus of Rs 28 crore. It also revised the income estimate for the 2019-20 financial year to Rs 926.90 crore and expenditure to Rs 873.72 crore.
Though several proposals are a repetition of old proposals, the budget also witnessed new announcements. They include a new Ro-Ro service between Fort Kochi and the High Court, a Rs 700-crore Kochi-West Kochi project for the comprehensive development of western areas, a special android app for Kudumbashree products, the flood-free Kochi mobile app and a women’s village.
The corporation also decided to set up a special task force for implementing the budget proposals. “Several projects announced in the previous years are in the budding stage. It is a fact that many projects have not gone to the implementation level. To avoid this, a task force will be constituted under the mayor, deputy mayor, secretary, additional secretary and superintending engineer. A monitoring system will be brought in for the implementation of budget proposals. Action will be taken against officials if they fail to implement the proposals,” said Premkumar.
The budget proposed to restart the municipal bond, which was announced last year, to raise money for the ULB (urban local body) share of the centrally-funded projects like Smart City Mission and AMRUT. Through several tax collection methods, the corporation expected an additional revenue receipt of Rs 15 crore in the next fiscal.
It was also decided to increase the fee for additional birth and death certificates from Rs 5 to Rs 20. The fee for marriage certificate will be hiked to Rs 200. Its application form will cost Rs 50. For building ownership certificate, Rs 50 will be charged.In the wake of Maradu incident, the corporation has decided to fine illegals. Several drain networks will be renovated for Rs 70 crore to prevent flooding.
The corporation will set up its own tile making unit to save the money it gives to private companies to purchase tiles. The corporation has also decided to hand over the maintenance of select roads to local residents.