Prithviraj Chavan says he is not averse to the idea, but alternate sources of income have to be upgraded
Just a day ahead of polls, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hinted yesterday that BMC's biggest revenue generator might be abolished. Reacting on the controversial issue of octroi, the CM said that he was not averse to the annulment of the tax, provided alternate sources of income for the civic agency are improved.
MiD DAY had reported on January 18 ('Rs 6,000-cr-divide between Sena-BJP') that between April and December 2011, BMC had collected nearly Rs 4,500 crore through octroi. The total target has now been hiked to Rs 6,000 crore for the current fiscal year.
BMC is also expecting to cross the target of Rs 500 crore per month with octroi. Octroi is the biggest source of revenue for the civic agency that had a budget of Rs 21,000 crore for the current financial year.
Speaking with media persons at his official residence Varsha, at Malabar Hill, Chavan said that a certain portion of general sales tax (GST) collected could be given to civic bodies (to recover the losses incurred due to octroi's abolition).
In the hot seat: If the Congress alliance fails to win the BMC polls, CM
Chavan said he would accept responsibility. File Pic
During the interaction, the CM spoke with a tinge of bitterness over the war of words between Congress and NCP leaders. "It had been decided earlier that all the ministers, leaders will speak only on policies, but some leaders crossed the line," he said.
He took strong objection to criticism that he was trudging the by lanes for campaigning of civic elections. "It had to be done when 46 per cent of the state's population is in urban areas," Chavan said.
"If we win, the credit will go to all the leaders, but if we lose it will be my responsibility," he said, replying to another question. He refused to accept that Mumbai Congress was not active during the campaigning and that there was disgruntlement over ticket disbursement. "MP Gurudas Kamat had written to me, thanking me for allocation of tickets," he maintained Chavan predicted that MNS will get more votes this time compared to the previous edition of the polls, but its seat share may not increase