SOLAN – Solan Municipal Corporation Mayor, Punam Grover, presented the city’s third budget today, amounting to Rs 193.75 crore. The budget introduces a series of measures that will lead to increased expenses for power, liquor, and courier services.

As part of the proposed budget, a cess of Rs 5 is set to be imposed on each bottle of liquor sold within the city, as well as on every courier service rendered. Moreover, electricity prices will also witness an upsurge. The existing cess of 0.01 paisa per unit will be elevated to 0.10 paisa per unit, impacting consumers’ electricity bills. Additionally, the budget suggests the implementation of stamp duty on immovable property within the municipal area.

In a bid to broaden the tax base, the budget incorporates plans to subject cable and internet service providers to service tax. It is expected that this tax will generate a revenue of Rs 2 crore. In line with the city’s environmental objectives, the budget includes a provision to transform Solan into a solar city, with an allocated expenditure of Rs 25 lakh.

To curtail unnecessary expenditures related to water supply, the budget proposes a request to the state government to waive the pending Rs 94 crore owed to the Jal Shakti Department and ensure the provision of water at domestic rates. The Mayor has also outlined additional priorities, such as enhancing water supply, installing CCTV cameras throughout the city at a cost of Rs 55 lakh, creating appropriate parking facilities, constructing footpaths, and improving overall civic infrastructure.

The budget emphasizes the establishment of designated vending zones and seeks collaboration with educational institutions and banks to contribute to the city’s beautification efforts.

The proposed budget aims to address various infrastructure requirements and generate revenue for the development of Solan. However, the increased costs of power, liquor, and courier services may have an impact on residents and businesses within the municipality. The budget will now undergo review by the Municipal Corporation Council, and further discussions and amendments are expected before its final approval.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.