Hyderabad: Union urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday suggested increasing water charges for consumers, especially commercial establishments.
He suggested that the poor be spared, but domestic users should pay a minimum slab while business establishments must be charged more. The minister also asked state urban local bodies to impose taxes on newer forms of entertainment and stated that the ceiling on professional tax would be raised.
“Make cities poster free,” he said, adding, “Politicians and actors are responsible for such eyesores, corporations should bring in regulations and impose taxes for posters as well.”
He was speaking at the second of the three workshops on the Smart City Mission in the city. The minister warned that cities “that don’t perform” will not get any help from the Centre. “If state local bodies don’t generate resources, the Centre will not shell out money,” he said.
Promoting mixed land use in area-based developments, planning for un-planned areas, expanding housing opportunities, creditworthiness and transparent financial management is the key as problems associated with urbanisation emanates from poor management of finances, Union urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said.
“Focus should be on enhancing the resource base through imposition of betterment tax, impact fee and advertisement tax. Optimisation of network of own tax and user charges without losing sight of the mandate of social recovery is needed. Cities that perform better will receive more funds.”
The Centre on September 7 had sanctioned Rs 2 crore per state to prepare a detailed project report on smart cities.
The selected states and Union Territories account for 40 of the 100 Smart City mission participants, 158 of the Amrut cities (33 per cent) and five of the 12 Hriday cities (42 per cent). The population of the 40 Smart City nominees is over 5.50 crore which is 42 per cent of the 13 crore urban population in 98 cities included in the mission so far.
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