KARNATAKA

BBMP seeks higher allocation of funds from Government

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Thirty per cent of the funds Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) spends comes from its own resources. At the same time, Bangalore contributes 64 per cent of the State's commercial taxes, 69 per cent of the stamp duty and 31 per cent of excise duty. Yet, it gets to use only 0.4 percent of its resources.

Stating these facts at a BBMP pre-budget public consultation on Saturday, Special Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said, "The State Government would be asked for higher allocations in view of the formation of Greater Bangalore. We have submitted this proposal to the Expert Committee on Greater Bangalore"

At an earlier meeting of the expert committee with legislators, the BBMP had asked for an allocation of Rs. 500 crore in the State's budget for Greater Bangalore.

Mr. Gupta also listed the possible sources of revenue for the BBMP in the coming financial year. Funds from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are likely to take care of most of the projects to be taken up this year.

While 50 per cent of the funds are from the Centre and the State, the BBMP proposed to raise the rest through borrowings, bonds and other means.

"We are thinking of floating bonds to raise funds. But we need to get approval from the Ministry of Finance to get tax exemption for these bonds. We also need to get the bonds rated," Mr. Gupta said.

Suggestions

There were also a few suggestions that came the BBMP's way. Vinod Vyasulu of the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, cautioned the BBMP to keep its often-unrealistic budgets practical. "Cuts in project costs would become arbitrary. Planning long time projects would become difficult," he said.