With an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget with an outlay of ₹10,688.63 crore was presented on Monday.
The surplus budget was presented by the chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance S.P. Hemalatha. The budget is focussed mainly on social welfare schemes, though Ms. Hemalatha stated that the vision of the budget was to provide efficient administration, empower women, provide financial security, create a healthy environment in the city and implement the Roshni Scheme to improve schools and colleges. The budget takes into account government grants under various heads amounting to ₹3,606.11 crore, including ₹2,300 crore grants recently announced in the State Budget.
While wards in new zones will get ₹3 crore, those in the old zones will get ₹2 crore. For this, a sum of ₹465 crores has been set aside. Of this, 60% is earmarked for maintenance works such as road maintenance, re-asphalting, pothole filling, while the remaining 40% will be executed as per the action plan.
Towards bringing in better fiscal responsibility, the BBMP is set to adapt the Karnataka Municipal Accounting and Budgeting Rules, 2006, apart from implementing Centralised Financial and Accounting System.
To improve mobilisation of resources, BBMP has proposed to amend section 110 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, to collect service charge in lieu of property tax from schools and colleges in the city, excluding those aided by the government, apart from taking up a drive to collect pending service charge from central and state government buildings. The target property tax collection is pegged at ₹3,500 crore.
A sum of ₹750 crore has been earmarked for solid waste management, including payment of salaries for pourakarmikas. The budget has also set aside ₹110 crore to develop areas adjoining waste processing units and quarry pits in KCDC, Mandur, Mavallipura, Bellahalli and Mitaganahalli, Doddabidarakallu, Subramanyapura, Lingadheeranahalli and Seegehalli.
An IT-BT corridor has been proposed at ₹125 crore. A detailed project report for the overall development of IT hub areas will be developed at ₹3 crore. The budget also mentions the State government's Nava Bengaluru scheme, under which BBMP will receive ₹2,300 crore this financial year. Major development works proposed will be taken up with government grants.
For the first time, ₹2 crore has been set aside to take up a tree census in the city, while it has been proposed to establish two nurseries in each zone with a capacity of 10 lakh saplings.
Even as Ms. Hemalatha was presenting the budget, councillors from the opposition BJP stormed the well, with some objections to the budget. “The budget is unrealistic. As per our estimates, BBMP has revenues including State government grants and SFC amounting to less than ₹6,000 crore. It's an inflated budget. So we have called this a bogus budget and protested it on the floor of the council.
“Moreover, the budget clearly is partial to assembly segments represented by the coalition MLAs. BBMP is for the entire city and all citizens pay tax but the Administration seems to be showing disparity,” exclaimed Padmanabha Reddy, Opposition Leader.
Earlier, Ms. Hemalatha, accompanied by Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun, visited Deputy Chief Minister and city development minister G. Parameshwara. Also present was Mahalakshmi Layout MLA Gopalaiah.