'Budget banks on borrowed money'

Opposition raps Mayor

Nagaraj stated as per the records with the Chief Accounts Officer the Palike already owes Rs 1,677 crore towards pending bills. A sum of Rs 2,612 crore is to be paid to financial institutions. “It is just criminal to place ourselves in debt yet again,” he said.

 He lamented that Rs 150 crore has been allotted to the Mayor’s fund and Rs 25 crore for a specially-created fund for the Deputy Mayor.

Lacks direction

Endorsing the view, Corporator Padmanabha Reddy of JD(S) said that the budget lacks direction and the receipts have been inflated. “Even if we consider all possible avenues of revenue for the BBMP it will add up to only Rs 1,500 crore. They are only banking on loans and grants from various financial institutions and governments,” he said.

However, Mayor S K Nataraj said the budget will be welcomed as ‘people-friendly’ despite the Palike facing financial crunch.

Leader of the Ruling Party, Katte Satyanarayana claimed that the budget has addressed the needs of people and does not speak of any new taxes.

Earlier, Nagaraj and Padmanabha Reddy sought to know the delay in presenting the budget.

Delay questioned

A Point of Order was raised by Padmanabha Reddy as soon as the Mayor, S K Nataraj initiated the Budget proceedings. “According to Section 126 (a) of the KMC Act, the Budget session should have been called during February or March. I request the Commissioner to give us clarification as to why there was a delay in holding the budget session nearly four months later,” he said.

However, the Mayor parried the query claiming that never in the history of the Palike any political party at the helm held the budget session as per the KMC Act. The statement invoked a series of reaction from the BJP leaders Katte Satyanarayana, Gangabyraiah and Congress leader Nagaraj over the formation of the Standing Committees before the presentation of the budget. However, Nataraj appealed to the leaders to remain calm and allow the already delayed budget session to resume without any interruption.

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