KARNATAKA

PROOF seeks debate on Rs. 1,000-cr. loan

BANGALORE Nov. 24. Campaigners for the Public Record of Operations and Finance (PROOF) want "open debate" on the issues pertaining to Rs. 1,000 crore borrowed by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike recently.

In a press release here, the PROOF partners said that it was evident from data available that the BMP had difficulty in meeting its revenues forecast. A public discussion organised by the PROOF Campaign at the India Population Project Training Centre had emphasised that the "BMP is already overdue on its interest payments for existing borrowings," the release said. The previous such venture, the Rs. 125-crore Municipal Bond scheme had revealed the issues relating to prudent financial management in the BMP.

A loan of this magnitude would prevent the BMP from undertaking other large projects in the medium term. Besides, it was not clear as to how the BMP would repay the interest and principal, the release said.

So, both the HUDCO and BMP must encourage public participation and debate openly on all issues raised by this loan. The debate should be held before any financial closure takes place, the release added.