On Friday, Mayor Firhad Hakim presented the budget for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation for the financial year 2023-24, revealing a deficit of ₹ 146 crores. This marks an improvement from the previous financial year, where a deficit of ₹ 177 crore was recorded.
Despite this improvement, the budget deficit remains a concern for the city, as the proposed deficit for the current year is ₹ 2171.96 crore. In the budget, Firhad Hakim introduced no new tax.
The estimated income for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in the financial year 2023-24 is ₹ 4,540.79 crore, with an estimated expenditure of ₹ 4,686.79 crore. The proposed deficit in the budget is ₹ 2025.96 crore. However, it is worth noting that the deficit is largely due to the payment of salaries following the Pay Commission's recommendations.
Additionally, factors such as the rise in petrol and diesel prices and the ongoing COVID-19 situation have made it difficult to increase tax revenue. The construction of boosting pumping stations at various locations has also contributed to the deficit.
To address some of the challenges faced by Kolkata, the budget allocates funds for pollution control and healthcare. Dengue control measures will now be carried out throughout the year, rather than just during the monsoon season, to combat the spread of the disease.
The city also plans to increase its green cover in the coming years. Overall, the budget presents a mixed picture for Kolkata, with some improvements but also ongoing concerns.