The other cities already sent proposals to government for necessary inclusions

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is lagging behind its counter parts -- Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad --in presenting budget in time. The other cities have already prepared their budgets and sent the proposals to the State government for necessary inclusions in the State budget. The corporation, however, is yet to prepare the budget for 2014-15. The reason -- some of the wings of the corporation have not furnished the proposals to the Accounts Department, which prepares the budget, sources say.

The corporation is supposed to present the budget before the end of January as per the norms. The VMC, however, could not prepare the budget in full till date. It is not for the first time that the corporation has delayed the process. The VMC officials are dilly-dallying on the presentation of the budget if the inordinate delay is any indication. 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.

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 lower outlay of Rs. 1,325.76 crore, as budget estimates (2007-08) had to be revised to Rs.333.72 crore.

Earlier budgets

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 slash its estimates to a mere Rs. 333.72 crore. The VMC submitted Rs.1,101-crore budget for 2012-13 fiscal. The VMC, for the year 2013-14, approved a budget of Rs 1,230.93 crore, while the expenditure was pegged at Rs 1,061 crore with a surplus of Rs 169 crore.

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