Bengaluru

Over 91% of BBMP’s expenditure went towards clearing pending bills and spillover works

Karnataka, Bengaluru: 02/09/2015 : Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office in Bengaluru on  September 02, 2015. 
Photo : Sudhakara Jain.

Karnataka, Bengaluru: 02/09/2015 : Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office in Bengaluru on September 02, 2015. Photo : Sudhakara Jain.

Roads to be asphalted, potholes to be filled, footpaths to be laid, storm-water drains to be remodelled.... the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has a lot on its plate.

According to Janaagraha’s Budget Performance Report of the BBMP’s budget 2017-18, though the civic body has spent ₹2,030 crore of the ₹6,088 crore allocated for infrastructure development and maintenance, only ₹177 crore is for works budgeted for this fiscal. Over 91% of the expenditure has gone towards clearing pending bills and spillover works.

Sapna Karim, head of civic participation, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, said the civic body has to spend ₹5,758 crore over the next six months to meet the budget targets. “Over the years, pending bills have increased. For the BBMP to focus on works budgeted for the current fiscal, it is essential to clear the pending bills. That is what the BBMP has done, which is a good sign,” she said.

That apart, the BBMP has raised 2,515 job codes between April to September 2017 worth ₹1,206 crore, of which ₹56 crore are works under Nagarottana Grants. Of the 2,515 job codes, a majority pertain to asphalting existing roads.

Janaagraha’s analysis also revealed that the BBMP has floated tenders for 13% of the ₹5,758 crore of budgeted expenditure that is yet to be spent over the next six months. It has raised 2,422 tenders amounting to ₹925 crore. Of this, 1,760 tenders worth ₹755 crore are job codes for the current financial year. A majority of the tenders raised are towards road repair work. Nearly ₹200 crore is for old works.

“Though the BBMP still has a lot to catch up on, it seems to be showing good intent with regard to getting work done that can be seen by the number of tenders floated and job codes raised and clearing pending bills,” Ms. Karim said.

However, she also said that the analysis has revealed the need for systemic changes that will aid execution of high quality work. “For this, the BBMP needs good project management that will hold contractors accountable. The important question that remains is if the BBMP will be able to execute the vision of the budget.”

High property tax collection

It seems that the civic body has fared a little better in terms of property tax collection. According to Janaagraha’s Budget Performance Report, the BBMP has managed to collect ₹1,723 crore, which is 66% of the budgeted property tax of ₹2,600 crore, in the first six months. This is said to be the highest in five years. The collection trends show that the annual tax collected is around 75% of the budgeted property tax in the last two years.

Analysis also revealed high dependence on grants from the central and State governments. The BBMP, whose main revenue source is property tax, received only 17% of the budgeted grants amounting to ₹729 crores in the first six months this year. The BBMP budget had included grants amounting to ₹4,250 crore from both the State and Centre.

Sapna Karim, head of civic participation, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, said that with such high reliance on grants, it is difficult for the BBMP to function. “There is an immediate need to bring this down, for which property tax collection has to improve.”

Previous analysis and studies have shown that there is a potential to collect ₹4,500 crore, which will make BBMP self-sufficient to a large extent. “To move in this direction, the BBMP needs strong leadership,” she added.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 6:42:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/over-91-of-bbmps-expenditure-went-towards-clearing-pending-bills-and-spillover-works/article19907017.ece