Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury speaks at press conference on the SCC budget at a hotel in Sylhet city on Tuesday.
Sylhet Office : Sylhet City Corporation mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury on Tuesday placed a budget of Tk 748 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19 with a pledge to turn the corporation area as a digital city if he was reelected in the upcoming mayoral polls, scheduled for July 30.
He announced the budget, which is larger by Tk 254.49 crore than that of the immediate past budget of 2017-18 fiscal year in a crowded press conference held at a city hotel.
In the budget, the mayor imposed no new tax and did not increase any previous rate of taxes. In his speech, Arif blamed his absence of more than two years between 2015 and 2017 as the main reason for not implementing many of the development projects.
Arif was in jail after being arrested as one of the prime suspects in the former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria murder case.
He claimed that he has tried his best to prepare a realistic budget for this financial year, keeping a balance between the expenditure and the income heads of the corporation.
Mentioning a positive trend of paying government revenues, including holding tax, that has been increased among the city dwellers in recent years, Arif said he would be successful in achieving the development goals and providing with better services to the citizens if he could continue in the office.
‘The city corporation would be able to earn more than Tk 87.48 crore from its own resources in the upcoming fiscal year If the residents pay the taxes of holdings and other amenities regularly,’ he said.
In the proposed budget, Tk 20 core has been estimated to come from the government’s annual development projects, Tk 40 crore from the government’s special grants, Tk 17.65 crore from holding tax, Tk crore from the allocations for infrastructural development projects granted by the government and donor organisations.
In addition, Tk 138 crore has been estimated to come from the government allocations and foreign-aid oriented projects in different development heads that include infrastructural development, water supply and sanitation, reconstruction and repairing of the city streets, garbage management and renovation of drainage system in the city.
Arif also informed that he has initiated a number of projects, including installation of a 40-bed kidney dialysis hospital, a garbage management plant, sewerage system and the renovation of the Central Bus Terminal in the city for providing its residents with better services and address the major urban needs.
Representatives of different professional groups, the SCC ward councilors and officials, including its chief executive officer AZM Narul Haque and chief executive engineer Nur Azizur Rahman among others attended the budget unveiling programme.