Corporation councillors of both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have alleged that discrepancies between the closing balance of one financial year and the opening balance of the next have shadowed the presentation of the Corporation budget for 2013-14. “In 2010-11, the statement of accounts detailed that a closing balance of Rs.10.27 crore had been accrued but then why was it not accounted in the opening balance of the year 2011-12. These issues have been raised countless times in the council, only to be met with promises that they will be explained,” said BJP leader P. Ashok Kumar. He added that three of the five new software installed by the Information Kerala Mission (IKM) for recording financial statements of the Corporation, were faulty, and sought a Vigilance probe into “a system riddled with inconsistencies.” BJP councillors said that out of the 60 projects listed in last year’s budget, barely eight were implemented.
‘Old wine in a new bottle’ was the thrust of the UDF’s allegations. They said there was no point in introducing new schemes if there was no follow-up. Though the Corporation had received enough funds from the State and Union governments, it could not put into practice many of the ambitious plans in last year’s budget. Lack of will was the problem, not dearth of funds.
During a press conference held earlier, Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar said that the civic body had carried out over 80 per cent of the programmes envisaged last year, except those related to construction. He said that unless the State government relaxed norms regarding tendering, the Corporation would not be able to carry out construction projects. Moreover, link-up with agencies such as the Trivandrum Development Authority (TRIDA) posed delays.