Date is yet to be finalised, but it is likely to be presentedon July 20 or 22

The government has given Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy the green signal to present the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s budget for 2013–14. Tuesday’s order directed him to present a “realistic budget”.

This means that Mr. Murthy will present the BBMP budget for the second time, a first in the history of the city corporation.

While the date is yet to be finalised, the budget is likely to be presented either on July 20 or July 22.

As per the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act, 1976, the council section should issue a notice at least seven days prior to the date when the budget is to be presented. However, Mr. Murthy told The Hindu that as the Government Order specifically stated that a special meeting to present the budget should be convened soon, it may not be required to give this seven days’ notice. “Nevertheless, we have sought legal opinion. The date will be fixed on Wednesday.”

Based on collections

The Government Order has directed the Mayor to present a “realistic” budget, based on last year’s revenue collection. This is pertinent as ever since the BBMP council was formed, budgets have been inflated, often making exaggerated projections of revenue collections.

In 2010–11, the budget outlay was Rs. 8,848 crore, while it was Rs. 9,380 crore in 2011–12 and Rs. 9,837 crore in 2012–13.

Urgent need

The government’s decision couldn’t come soon enough, as the vote on account from earlier this year lapsed on June 30. Without the budget, the BBMP would not have been able to meet even administrative expenses, such payment of salaries, pension and clearing garbage bills, sources said.

Because of the delay, the civic body has not been able to take up emergency or development projects.

Sources added that the delay could be attributed to the confusion over reservation of the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The government order, however, added that given the stalemate on the reservation issue, the KMC Act does not say that the incumbent Mayor and Deputy Mayor should not hold council meetings or approve subjects pertaining to emergency works.

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