Flaws and uncertainty rule 2012 Bengaluru budget

BBMP has presented yet another inflated budget of Rs 9498.40 crore on June 28th, 2012. Like the two previous budgets, this time also activists and opposition parties criticised the budget as unrealistic. The budget has got more significance in the grounds of coming assembly election on May 2013.

Budget session. Pic: Sankar C G

As usual, infrastructure works have snatched a good portion in the current budget too, with around 2000 crore rupees allocated for major infrastructure works.

BBMP’s initiative to provide basic infrastructure to 110 villages in outer Bangalore, received warm welcome from all sections. Rs 135 crore has been earmarked for the project. Building ward office in all wards, dog birth control programme, development of tree parks and water ponds and many PPP (public private partnership)  projects were mentioned in the budget. Automated Garbage Segregation Plant, at Subbarayanapalya land fill, was included in the budget for the third time. In the last two budget the project failed to see light of day.

K A Muneendra Kumar, Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, with the budget ahead of the budget session. Pic: Sankar C G

Rs 200 crores are ear marked for the construction of ten Multi Level Car Parking (MLCP) in Bangalore. These are the areas in which MLCPs are proposed to come up – Freedom Park, Gandhi Nagar, Gandhi Bazaar, Koramangala, near forum, Opposite to Hosmat Hospital, Vijayanagar, near Metro Station, Near Russel Market, BBMP head office, Opposite to Yeshwanthpur RTO, Murugesha Palya along Old air port road, Near Bannappa Park.
New systems to be introduced

  • Biometrics based Khata from this year.
  • A separate cell to monitor the coverage and collection of property tax using IT enabled service.
  • The word trade license changed to ‘Trade Commencement Certificate’ and online system will be introduced for trade license.  
  • A separate cell to monitor the coverage and collection of property tax using IT enabled service.
  • All BBMP properties will be assigned GIS based PID numbers.
  • Housing Development Monitoring cell to see to monitor housing constructions for the poor.
  • GIS based road maintenance. 

Major projects 

  • Rs 135 crore for the development of 110 villages.
  • Rs 12.50 crore for ward office construction in each ward.
  • Rs 28 crore for installing single pole transformers.
  • Rs 320 crore for solid waste management.
  • Rs 500 crore for remodeling storm water drains.
  • Rs 1000 crore for 10 PPP works.  
  • Rs 426 crore for five signal free corridor.
  • Rs 3.50 crore for the development of tree parks and water ponds.
  • Rs 5 crore for Bangalore Palike Bazar behind Freedom Park.
  • Rs 10 crore for fencing all BBMP vacant lands, parks and lakes.
  • Revamp markets under PPP.
  • 5 crore for stray dog birth control programme.
  • 738 crore for the welfare of deprived class.

Welfare Programmes get more money

Salaries, pension and administrative cost is coming up to 474 crore rupees. It was 333 crore rupees in the previous budget.

Rs 738 crore earmarked in the current budget for welfare schemes, it was Rs 604 crore in the previous budget.

  • Dr B R Ambedkar Housing scheme.
  • Rs 5 crore for providing financial assistance to road side vendors and hawkers for buying push carts (Badavara Dhwani).
  • Rs 5 crore for the support of weavers (Mahatma Gandhi Swavalambana programme).
  • Rs 10 crore for providing gas connections to 100 poor families per ward.
  • Rs 5 lakh for ward represented by women.

 Health gets less money

The budget for health sector has been practically halved to 165 crore rupees. Last year it was Rs 336 crores.

  • Rs 20 crore for Vajpayee Arogyashree Medical Insurance Scheme.
  • Rs 2 crore for providing medical kits in corporation schools and colleges.
  • Rs 5 crore for public health centers, maternity homes and referral hospital.
  • Rs 20 crore for Nitya Arogya Seva Centers in each ward.
  • Rs 1.50 for public health awareness programme.
  • Rs 1 crore for thyroid disease control.
  • Rs 6 crore for dialysis center at all zones.

Culture, Sports and education

Rs 155 crore has been allocated for culture, sports and education, of which Rs 96 crore for culture and sports and  Rs 59 crore for education has been allocated.

  • Rs 5 crore for eight welcome arches for Bangalore city in eight directions
  • Rs 25 lakh for Vivekananda statue at Yediyuru Lake
  • Rs 6 crore to upgrade Kittur Rani Chenamma Playground
  • Rs 50 lakh for personality development class and technical sessions.  

BBMP’s expected revenue sources

BBMP is planning to boost the tax generation by bringing all service apartment, paying guest houses under property tax net. It is expected to cover 2000 core rupees from property tax alone.

The optical fibre policy, for collecting tax from telecoms companies, was included in the budget. The policy was formulated in the previous budget but High Court has given a stay order till its final verdict.

BBMP also has plans to hike advertising tax. They are proposing a 100 percent hike in 30 roads in commercial areas and 50 percent hike in other roads. The hike, however will be implemented only once the government approves it. BBMP has sent a modification in advertisement policy to the government for approval. Advertisement tax will also be collected from hoardings in bus stands, railway hoardings and other places.

Opposition says budget is unrealistic

“Only Rs 211 crore is available with BBMP as opening balance, but on expectation they are projecting a massive budget.  It is financial discipline violation,” says M K Gunashekhar, opposition leader. However, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy and Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, K A  Muneendra Kumar, claim it as a realistic budget. They are confident that the they can finish 90 percent of the projected works mentioned in the budget, can be completed within three months.

In the previous budget they managed to collect a revenue of 3934 crore rupees against the projected revenue of 9315 crore rupees. They completed only 41 percent of all the projects.

LDA’s count of Lakes in Bangalore

Total number of Lakes in Bangalore 207

BBMP- 135

BDA- 49

Karnataka Forest Department- 5

Minor Irrigation Department- 18

BBMP forgets how many lakes it has

LDA documents show that 135 lakes are under BBMP, however, the BBMP budget speech mentions only 55 lakes. BBMP claims that out of the 55 lakes 17 Lakes were developed completely and another eight lakes are under various stages of development says the budget report. For the development of remaining lakes Rs 158 crore is earmarked in the current budget. While BBMP insists on  55 lakes and allocated fund for the development of 30 lakes out of that, the fate of the remaining 80 lakes remains a question. When Citizen Matters asked the Mayor about the missing numbers, he refused to comment.

Less fund for RWH

Five crore rupees has been allocated for Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) and ground water recharging in the budget. The city  has a potential to harvest 849.67 MLD each rainy season. 20 crore rupees were allocated RWH works for in 2011-12 budget. But the money has not been released due to the lackadaisical approach of the BBMP officials.

N V Subbanna, Chief Accounting officer BBMP, says, “The in charge officers were supposed to do the site verification, tender allocation, project layout and so many other works prior to the release of the money. Nothing has been done so far. So the money has not been released.”

2011-12 tendered projects get funded again

BBMP initiated Bio Methanisation plant in 16 wards two months ago. Tenders were given to Ashoka Bio Green pvt ltd and Mahlam Engineers ltd but is included it in the current budget as a new project.

K A Muneendra Kumar, Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance presenting the budget. Pic: Sankar C G

What has been left out

Though Supreme Court ordered civic bodies, to provide night shelters for urban poor, no money has been allocated for the same. The deadline was two months ago. As per the order BBMP is supposed to construct one night shelter for every one lakh population. While considering the population of Bangalore, around 80 night shelters are needed, but BBMP has constructed only six so far.
BBMP’s favourite revenue avenue – Akrama Sakrama was not even discussed this time. This appears to  be a clear indication that Akrama Sakrama bill has been buried for now.

List of roads to be widened

Rs 60 crore has been allocated for for widening 13 roads. Only ten of which have been named. 

  • Ring Road from Bannerghatta Road to Silk Board junction left and right sides
  • Halagevaderahalli and Panthara Palya Road
  • Abbigere-Lakshmipura Road
  • Chikkabanavara Ganigara Halli to Somashetty Halli
  • Thindlu to Nanjappa Circle
  • Thindlu to Syndicate Bank
  • Tannery Road
  • Vidyaranyapura Road
  • Begur Road
  • Mission Road

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With only Rs 221 crore in hands, BBMP did an action replay of last year and projected a massive budget of Rs 9498.40 crore by relying completely on bond, tax and grants. Read the full analysis here.

About Sankar C G 35 Articles
Sankar C G is an Associate Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters

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