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Tamil Nadu - Madurai Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Neither new taxes nor major projects

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI, FEB.25. The Mayor, C. Ramachandran, today presented the budget for 2004-05 with a plan outlay of Rs.126.78 crores. The budget, with a deficit of Rs.19.50 crores, offered neither new taxation nor major projects.

The Mayor hoped to tide over the deficit by an additional revenue, implementing reforms in the property tax and hiking the licence fee for the shops rented out by the local body.

The budget envisaged a Rs.2-crore allocation for providing new streetlights in the extension areas, besides replacing tube lights with sodium vapour lamps on prime roads. Other projects included a new truck terminal on the Dindigul national highway at a cost of Rs.3.31 crores; construction of pedestrian subways at TVS Nagar and Goripalayam at a cost of Rs.75 lakhs and allocation of Rs.79 lakhs for procuring heavy and light motor vehicles.

The AIADMK leader, S.D. Jeyabalan, flayed the officials for "failing" to collect Rs.24 crores of property tax, non-levy of tax for new buildings and "failure to effectively" utilise Corporation property, encroached upon by some private people.

He criticised the budget for not including any new permanent scheme as an alternative to the Vaigai water scheme. Terming the budget as a "mirage", the Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, S. Mahalingam, said the meagre allotment of Rs.37 lakhs for maintaining the Corporation schools and Rs.35 lakhs for procuring fogging machines were not enough. The independent member, `Misa' Pandiyan doubted whether the Rs.1.43-crore project of a Yatri Niwas in the Bharathiyar Shopping Complex bus stand would come up, as promised in the budget.

S. Ramalingam of the Bharatiya Janata Party wanted the local body to start English medium schools.

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