GVMC approves budget estimates

IN PROTEST MODE: TDP members preventing Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao from leaving the council hall in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

IN PROTEST MODE: TDP members preventing Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao from leaving the council hall in Visakhapatnam on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Staff Reporter

Each ward will be allocated Rs. 50 lakhs before March, says Mayor

Salaries of sanitation workers to be hiked

Special package for ZP schools promised

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation on Monday passed the Rs.7,308.13 lakhs surplus budget estimates for 2010-11 and revised budget estimates for 2009-10 amid protests.

Alleging that the doubts raised were not answered and a proper debate was not conducted the TDP members stopped Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao closing the door.

However, Congress members intervened and after a few minutes opened the door. The Opposition contention was that while high estimates were presented the actual spending did not match it.

The Mayor announced that before March each ward would be allocated not less than Rs.50 lakhs and the salaries of sanitation staff would be increased. Responding to the charge of K. Hanoku (Congress) on not spending the allocated funds, the Mayor and Commissioner V.N. Vishnu announced that a separate account would be opened for the SC/ST funds and works recommended by a committee of SC/ST members would be taken up after council’s approval.

Tax collection

Mr. Vishnu admitted that there was room for improving tax collection and scope for realising 90 per cent of the demand if big defaulters were made to pay.

He said for the 20 projects under JNNURM, Rs.200 crores more than sanctioned was spent.

An amount of Rs.243 crores under various heads of the mission was in the final stages of release from the State Government.

A special package for ZP schools under the GVMC was also promised. File for a Rs.13.92 crores contingency plan to tide over the water crisis in the Summer was under circulation.

Expenditure reports

He told CPI’s AJ Stalin that annual expenditure reports for two years would be presented by the end of February.

TDP Floor Leader Nalluri Bhaskara Rao said in 2008-09 and 2009-10 budgets high revenue was projected but subsequently scaled down. For 2009-10, Rs.2,600 crores budget was proposed but revised estimates put at only Rs.1,400 crores. By the end of last year Rs.534 crores was realised and Rs.500 crores spent.

He wondered from where Rs.900 crores would be realised by March.

He described the budget as 75 per cent fake and 25 per cent real. Describing GVMC as a sinking boat, he wanted a realistic budget to be presented.

Congress members, including Deputy Mayor K. Dorabbai and G.V. Ravi Raju, said realising tax dues from public sector units and vacant land tax, more Motor Vehicle Tax component and developing assets under public-private partnership would improve revenue.

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