'Illegal' BBMP budget gets nod after a fortnight

'Illegal' BBMP budget gets nod after a fortnight

Expressing doubts over the functioning of Indira Canteens — the flagship programme of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government — Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Monday ordered a detailed inquiry and sought a report from the additional chief secretary, Urban Development Department.

A fortnight after ordering to withhold the budget of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), terming it as “illegal”, the state Cabinet on Monday gave its approval after a detailed discussion on the proposed projects and allocation of funds.

Reviewing the budget estimates of the civic body and considering the opinion of the Finance Department, the state Cabinet gave its approval for the budget with an outlay of Rs 11,648.9 crore. Further, the Cabinet, according to sources, has directed the BBMP to present a supplementary budget to accommodate the remaining amount of Rs 1,308.89 crore.

The BBMP, with several ambitious projects, had presented a budget with an outlay of Rs 12,957.79 crore. Taking objections to the inflated estimates, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad had written to the Urban Development Department (UDD) to limit the outlay to Rs 9,000 crore.

The Yediyurappa-led BJP government, following allegations of large-scale irregularities in works like white-topping, TenderSURE and biased allocation of funds to various constituencies, had put the budget on hold citing Cabinet’s approval.

CM orders probe into Indira Canteen ops

Expressing doubts over the functioning of Indira Canteens — the flagship programme of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government — Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Monday ordered a detailed inquiry and sought a report from the additional chief secretary, Urban Development Department.

In a note addressed to the UDD, Yeddyurappa said, "The two firms — Cheftalk Food and Hospitality Services Pvt Ltd and Rewards — that maintain 174 Indira Canteens and 15 mobile canteens are reportedly claiming a subsidy of Rs 6.82 crore plus every month. There have been complaints that these figures have been erroneous and fudged to claim the subsidy."

Following the probe announcement, the Congress leaders reacted sharply and KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao warned the government that his party would take to streets if the canteens were shut by the government. "These eateries are very popular among the labourers and economically weaker sections and perhaps this could be the reason that the BJP wants to close them," Rao said.