PUNE The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) chief executive officer (CEO) attended an hour-long briefing over video conference on Wednesday, in the ₹459 crore Goods and Service Tax (GST) case
PCB CEO Amit Kumar said “ We have given our representation to the chief secretary and now the matter is with the state government. We have pointed out that the precarious financial condition of the board for the past many years has hit all the development projects. For developments to take place, LBT funds which are due will help us tide over the worst financial crisis of the board . Currently the board is starved of funds and citizen work is getting affected due to the financial crisis.”
After hearing counsel for parties in the case for a considerable length of time , the court had granted the reliefs prayed for by the petitioners and the PCB has been given an opportunity to make representation within a period of two weeks to the chief secretary. The state of Maharashtra has been directed to dispose of the representation within two months after giving an opportunity to the petitioners of being heard.
Prior to 2013, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had been collecting octroi and PCB was getting a share from PMC .Subsequently, the state government abolished octroi with effect from April 1, 2013. Further as per notification in 2013, the PMC started collecting Local Body Tax (LBT) instead of octroi within its jurisdiction. There is no revenue sharing agreement between PMC and the PCB from April 1, 2013.
Under section 71 of the Cantonments Act,2006, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) authorised the board to impose LBT through a resolution dated June 4, 2015 and the board was able to generate revenue to the tune of ₹88 crore per annum. On April 12, 2017,Goods and Service Tax (GST) was enacted by the central government and implemented with effect from July 1, 2017.
Due to the annual revenue loss to the tune of ₹90 crore, a self sufficient Cantonment Board has become a deficit Cantonment Board and is presently in such a precarious financial condition that the board is not able to meet its mandatory expenses on account of salary, pension, the development works and maintenance of civic amenities has also been adversely affected.
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