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Infrastructure development gets priority in BBMP Budget

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Briefing: BBMP Commissioner S. Subramanya (left) and Special Commissioner (Finance) Sandeep Dash addressing a press conference after presenting the BBMP Budget to Administrator Dilip Rau in Bangalore on Friday.
Briefing: BBMP Commissioner S. Subramanya (left) and Special Commissioner (Finance) Sandeep Dash addressing a press conference after presenting the BBMP Budget to Administrator Dilip Rau in Bangalore on Friday.

Staff Reporter

More ‘magic box’ underpasses are among the projects proposed

Bangalore: Giving an impetus to building infrastructure, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP) in its “realistic” Budget for 2008-09 has earmarked Rs. 938.91 crore for it.

Construction of elevated road corridors, roads over storm water drains, more ‘magic box’ underpasses, pedestrian sub-ways and road overbridges and road underbridges across railway lines are among the major infrastructure projects proposed in the budget.

The allocation for infrastructure-related projects, including maintenance and projects funded by the Union Government under JNNURM, will be 57 per cent of the total outlay. In addition to the Rs. 938.91 crore, the BBMP will spend Rs. 418.52 crore from Central funds for infrastructure under JNNURM and Rs. 340.13 crore for maintenance.

While the health sector has been allocated Rs. 208.68 crore, Rs. 172.2 crore has been earmarked for education, culture, sports and welfare sectors, and Rs. 386.23 crore allocated for salaries and pensions.

The budget was presented to BBMP Administrator Dilip Rau by Special Commissioner (Finance) Sandeep Dash in the presence of Commissioner S. Subramanya and other officers on Friday.

Estimates made in the 2007-08 budget could not be achieved owing to non-realisation of expected revenue from property tax, storm water drain cess, Sakrama scheme etc., and the overall shortfall was about Rs. 1,402 crore as against the projected receipts.

The revised estimates for receipts and expenditure for 2007-08 came to Rs. 1,900 crore and Rs. 2,036 crore respectively as against the budgetary estimate of Rs. 3,302 crore and Rs. 3,317 crore respectively.

Capital Value System

While allaying fears of steep increase in property tax due to the implementation of the Capital Value System (CVS), the budget states that the expected revenue from property tax collection will be around Rs. 605 crore in 2008-09, which is Rs. 5 crore less than the target of the previous year.

The BBMP had been able to collect only Rs. 430 crore as property tax so far as against the target of Rs. 610 crore for 2007-08.

The CVS “will not put additional tax burden” on every property owner as some would pay less tax than what they have been paying under the existing system. Greater revenue is expected by increasing the coverage of tax by bringing non-assessed properties under the tax net.

Rise in income

The BBMP has registered a rise in revenue generation from advertisement tax and non-tax revenues owing to revision of fees pertaining to issue of building licence, ground rent, khata transfer, improvement charges and user charges.

While revenue from advertisements went up to Rs. 70 crore as against the target of Rs. 9 crore, non-revenue receipts shot up to Rs. 288 crore against the estimated Rs. 110 crore during 2007-08.

Despite non-realisation of revenue as estimated, the BBMP spent Rs. 2,036 crore during 2007-08, which, according to the budget, is 87 percent higher than the expenditure of Rs. 1,089 in 2006-07.

‘Realistic, transparent’

Describing the budget as “realistic and transparent,” Mr. Subramanya said attempts had been made to address the needs of the city and find the resources in a realistic manner within its financial limits in the absence of elected bodies both at the State and BBMP level.

The BBMP, during 2008-09, proposes to collect Rs. 100 crore under Sakrama scheme, Rs. 80 crore from licence fee, Rs. 91 crore from advertisement tax and Rs. 250 crore from non-tax revenues.

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