Bengaluru

BBMP budget likely in mid-February

The BBMP has been able to achieve around 50% implementation of the previous fiscal budget.

The BBMP has been able to achieve around 50% implementation of the previous fiscal budget.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance expected to begin deliberations on budget soon

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for 2019-20, which will set the tone for the civic body’s plans for the city, will, in all probability, be presented this month. According to highly placed sources in the BBMP, the budget will most likely be presented on February 15, a week after the State government presents its budget on February 8.

The administrative draft, prepared by the BBMP commissioner based on the actual revenue and expenditure, has been sent to the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance. Sources said the administrative budget itself is around ₹9,000 crore.

The outlay may increase further, given that the State government may announce schemes and grants for various projects in its budget. The ruling coalition, however, maintains that a realistic budget will be presented.

Relief from property tax rise?

Sources also confirmed that with parliamentary elections to be held a few months later, the ruling coalition is wary of increasing property tax rates though the three-year block period has long since expired. “It is highly unlikely that the tax rates will be revised. We don't want to burden the common man,” said senior civic officials.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said that the outlay of the administrative draft is around ₹8,900 crore, which includes grants under various schemes already announced by the State government amounting to nearly ₹4,000 crore.

What is included this time around in the draft budget is a provision to create an escrow account for stormwater drains, solid waste management, roads and street lights. “The maintenance of these civic amenities should not suffer due to want or lack of funds,” said Mr. Prasad.

The BBMP has been able to achieve implementation of around 50% of the previous fiscal budget.

A few months ago, the commissioner had written to the State government to bring the BBMP under the ambit of the Karnataka Local Fund Authorities and Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2003, for better financial discipline in the civic body, given its history of presenting unrealistic budgets. “The Urban Development Department had sought some clarifications and the proposal is under consideration,” said Mr. Prasad.

The standing committee, headed by Hemalatha Gopalaiah, will soon begin deliberating on the budget.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 7:54:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bbmp-budget-likely-in-mid-february/article26162854.ece

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