Krishna Babu attributes it to unpredictable nature of prices like fuel, power charges, etc and demands of the day

GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu said the standing committee will be provided with complete details about the budgetary variations for every section with justification for the amounts spent in three days.

In an informal chat with presspersons here on Wednesday, he said the budget variations in the monies spent happen because neither the revenue expenditure on salaries, fuel, etc., nor capital works expenditure on various works can go by the budgetary provisions alone.

In an oblique reference to the ongoing tug-of-war between senior officials and the standing committee in the last couple of weeks over budget variation report, he maintained it was a common practice adopted by municipal bodies and the Government. While twice the budgeted amount is allowed to be spent as per the codified rules, it is followed more on the breach because of unpredictable nature of prices like fuel, power charges, etc, and demands of the day.

Similarly, projects like link roads, flyovers, storm water drains, etc., take two to three years for completion, hence the budget is carried over into subsequent years. “If we stick to the budget alone and considering the spill over works, we can’t take up any fresh work as the civic body’s capacity to complete works is about Rs.800 crore a year,” he pointed out.

In any case, a weekly statement of revenue and expenditure is placed before the standing committee presided over by the Mayor as per procedure and not a single case of objection was recorded so far. While doubts about excess billing or quality of works can be checked through a third party or the quality control cell, “every single bill is pre-audited and accounted for,” he claimed.

The Commissioner said the finance wing was instructed to go through every bill with a fine toothcomb and maintain proper classifications of the amounts spent for preparing the final appropriations bill.

When contacted, a standing committee member exclaimed: “We have grave doubts about the budget variation report submitted to us and about large sums disbursed under various sections. And, none of the senior officials have had any explanation for it.”

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