Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: The city budget for 2009-10 would be presented to the general body of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Friday. This year, the budget is being presented two months behind schedule due to the model of code of conduct that was in vogue till a week ago.

The ruling Congress proposes to present the budget with an outlay of Rs. 1284.47 crore compared to the Rs.1,325.76-crore budget of the previous year.

The revised budget estimates for the last fiscal year (2008-09) were brought down to Rs. 521 crores from budget estimate of Rs. 1,325.76 crores. The ruling party proposes to take up construction of school buildings and community halls at an estimated cost of Rs. 4 crores, and street lighting at a cost of Rs. 2 crores. Similarly, Rs. 52 crores has been earmarked for restoration of roads where underground drainage (UGD) works have been completed and Rs. 3 crore for malaria eradication.

The general body approved the budget outlay for 2008-09 with a major cut of Rs. 672 crores from what was approved for 2007-08. While the outlay for 2007-08 was ambitiously pegged at Rs. 1,998.10 crores, the Congress presented a much more compact outlay of Rs. 1,325.76 crores last year.

Opposition parties like the CPI(M) are not happy with the proposals in the budget. Its floor leader in the general body Ch. Babu Rao said on Wednesday that the Congress was all set to present the budget as a “ritual”.