As per the norms, the corporation should complete the process by January-end

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is dilly-dallying on the presentation of the budget if inordinate delay is any indication.

The corporation was supposed to present the budget before the end of January as per the norms. The VMC, however, could not prepare the budget in full form till date. It is not for the first time that the corporation has delayed the process.

It has become a ritual for the VMC to present its budget only after the State government presented the annual budget.

As a matter of fact, the local bodies are supposed to prepare their budgets by the first week of December and place it before the Standing Committee, which in turn discusses the proposals and issues. The committee, after approving it, will place it before the council before January 10.

The council discusses the proposals, allocations, previous year projections, allocations, and actual expenditure etc in detail before approving it.

Huge outlays

In fact, ever since the Vijayawada city has been selected for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme, the VMC has been presenting budgets with huge outlays, which the opposition parties termed them unrealistic. The corporation presented a budget with an outlay of Rs. 1,998.10 crore for 2007-08, out of which a lion's share of Rs.1,800 crore was shown under the JNNURM. The remaining Rs. 198 crore was shown as the revenue that comes under other heads. There was a major drop of Rs. 672 crore in the budget outlay for 2008-09 from that of 2007-08, and a much compact outlay of Rs. 1,325.76 crore, as budget estimates (2007-08) had to be revised to Rs.333.72 crore.

The corporation’s budget was jacked up to Rs. 1,998.10 crore during 2007-08 from a modest budget of Rs. 440.46 crore presented for the year 2006-07. And, it was Rs. 296.21 crore for the financial year 2005-06 and Rs. 213.98 crore for the year 2004-05. Though the corporation presented an ambitious budget in 2007-08, it had to revise its estimates to Rs. 333.72 crore. The VMC submitted Rs.1,101-crore budget for 2012-13 fiscal.

The VMC, in 2011, moving away tangentially from the regular exercise, presented an ‘open budget’ with an attempt to enable the public to understand the corporation’s plans for raising revenues and expenditure.

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