Mumbai: BMC decides to charge 50 per cent more rent from shopkeepers

Published: Dec 11, 2019, 15:34 IST | Chetna Sadadekar |

While the increase in rent is said to be a nominal one, as the shopkeepers have been enjoying nominal rates, the BMC now decided to raise the rent by 50 per cent per pitch

BMC office
BMC office

After raising concerns over the financial situation of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation by issuing directives to carry out more and more work with the help of CSR and citizen participation and also demanding continued compensation of GST, the civic administration now wants to even earn revenue from the markets. The BMC has decided to charge 50 per cent more rent from the shopkeepers functioning from the BMC markets. The rent was last increased in 1991.

While the increase in rent is said to be a nominal one, as the shopkeepers have been enjoying nominal rates, the BMC now decided to raise the rent by 50 per cent per pitch (shop or Gala) for the first time, and also a five per cent rise per year, henceforth. This is the first time since 1991 that the rent will be increased, to keep up with expenditure on upkeep of markets as currently, the expenditure is way more than the revenue. In 2018-19, BMC spent Rs 44.8 crore for the upkeep of its markets but received only Rs 19.1 crore from rent from its total of 188 markets.

The discussions over how the capital expenditure can be curtailed and more and more of contractual works instead of investing in full-time purchase have been making rounds in the riches civic corporation of the country. Last month, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi's circular had directed all administrative heads to undertake as much development work under CSR, or with help of citizens groups and public-private partnerships so that funds are available for future.

The commissioner had also tried to reduce the expenditure of wards by asking them to utilise the revenue that came from fining the citizens for illegally parking vehicles around 500 meters from the public parking lots. Even there were reports about an increase in water charges for domestic users of residential premises and not of the slum-dwellers. The civic commissioner has also asked the officials to recover the revenue expenditure differences in this way, wherever possible, revealed sources.

A senior civic official, said, "A proposal about the rent increase has already been put forward in front of the standing committee but the members are yet to take it up for discussion and approval. This move was necessary to keep up with proper maintenance of the markets until the new policy over its redevelopment is not finalised. The last rent increase was in 1991 and since then it has not been reviewed. The revenue received from here will only be used for the upkeep of the market."

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