It's a jugglery of figures, says TDP floor leader

The budget estimates for 2012-13 prepared by the Opposition-packed standing committee were approved by the general body of the municipal corporation at its meeting held here on Friday without any hitch. Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao was in the chair. It projects a revenue of Rs.1886.38 crore. Revised estimates for 2011-12 were also approved.

As soon as the meeting began, TDP floor leader P. Mutyala Naidu began describing the budget as a jugglery of figures drawing taunts from the ruling party members questioning whether it had the approval of the standing committee and signed by its members before it was introduced by the Mayor.

Mr. Naidu said the Mayor had given no opportunity for taking up discussion by the standing committee on the budget proposals for a month as laid down in the HMC Act.

However, CPI floor leader A.J. Stalin said it was introduced under Section 184 of the HMC Act and any member could express his views in the discussion under Section 185. TDP's Sanapala Sitaramanjaneyulu pointed out that receipts for the opening balance of Rs.94.69 crore for 2012-13 budget should be presented to the standing committee and wanted to know the balance actually existed or merely statistics were presented.

Commissioner B. Ramajnajeyulu told him that a total of 20 items, including accounts in banks, treasury, 12th finance and 13th finance commission funds, and MP and MLA LAD funds comprised the opening balance. The receipt had to be produced if standing committee asked for it and it was not sought, he said. The copies were later provided to members.

The Commissioner said proposals had been taken from wards and discussed before the budget was prepared.

Ch.V. Pattabhiram (TDP) said Act 7 of 2007 was not implemented and the views of ward and area committee members were not taken.

G.V. Ravi Raju of YSR Congress pointed out that for 2011-12, the revenue receipt was projected as Rs. 458.68 crore, while the actual receipt was a mere Rs.57 crore. The same was the case with vacant land tax.

‘Lacks credibility'

CPI(M) floor leader Botta Eswaramma stated that since the beginning of the JNNURM, the budget estimates were hyped up lacking credibility. For instance, in 2006-07 the revenue estimated was Rs.1702.41 crore and expenditure Rs.1609.94 crore but the actual achievement was Rs.360.38 crore and Rs.298.1 crore respectively.

In 2011-12, it was Rs.593.16 crore and Rs.528.86 (up to December 31) against the estimates of Rs.2,116.48 crore and Rs. 593.16 crore.

Congress floor leader Behera Bhaskara Rao said it was a popular budget and all corporators should be proud that during their tenure works worth at least Rs.15 crore were taken up from general funds.