G.V.R. Subba Rao
VIJAYAWADA: The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is racing hard to become the first city in the State to publish its balance sheet. Officials are hopeful of meeting the March 31, 2008, deadline applicable to the current financial year while publishing its assets and liabilities.
Though the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has completed the process of publication of the balance sheet, it has not been made public by way of publishing it in the gazette. The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation too lags behind in this effort.
Until recently, the VMC was following the ‘cash-based system of accounting’, under which assets and liabilities were not assessed and listed out. The corporation switched to ‘accrual-based double entry accounting system’ from April 1 this year as part of the reforms undertaken for accessing funding under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
Lending agencies like the World Bank have been insisting that all Urban Local Bodies follow double entry accounting system, which can help them know the financial health of a ULB better.
The Bangalore-based eGov Foundation supported the corporation by providing software called ‘e-Governance Financials’, while the Hyderabad-based Centre for Good Governance provided domain server support.
The corporation changed to the double accounting system as per the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s guideline that National Municipal Accounting Manual would have to be followed by all the ULBs.
The ‘e-Governance Financials’ software was tested in 69 municipalities in Karnataka and is being implemented successfully in the Delhi Municipal Corporation too.
The software prevents tampering of records.
Any clerk or accountant will have to approach the Examiner of Accounts, the sole authority to make reversal entries, to correct any mistake in the accounts, say VMC officials.