State government leaves mendicant BBMP in lurch

Civic body told not to expect any grants from the State

The budget approval letter dated October 8, 2010 from the government has come with a rider: “The BBMP should not expect any grants from the state government.” The letter also states that the BBMP should enhance its revenue generation capacity to ensure that there is no shortfall of funds, and to streamline property tax recovery. 

Apparently, the ‘denial’ of funds coupled with the uncertainty over the Akrama Sakrama scheme, which could have generated an additional revenue of Rs 800 crore, has led to grave concern in officials and corporators over the fate of projects proposed in the budget.  “While there might not be any direct impact as for the present, the pinch will certainly be felt with little funds at our disposal, collected as property tax,” sources told Deccan Herald.

Tenders on cards

However, Chairman for the Taxation and Finance Committee, P N Sadashiva expressed confidence that the state government will indeed provide Palike with the special grants. “We have already initiated the process to call tenders with the anticipation of receiving funds from the government. The tenders will be called for in the first week of November,” he said.

Meanwhile, BBMP Mayor, S K Nataraj has stated that the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa would declare the quantum of funds to be released in the Palike Council, shortly.

With outstanding payments to contractors totalling to Rs 1,600 crore, the Palike is now reeling under debt. And overhead costs including staff salary and grants for ward-level projects are sure to be a financial burden in the absence of State grants.

JnNURM funds

 Apart from special grants, the state government grant amount to Rs 1,866 crore including sops and SFC assistance of Rs 403 crore.

The grants were to constitute nearly 23 per cent of the anticipated revenue for the present financial year. As if to add insult to injury, the BBMP is yet to receive 35 per cent contribution of the Union government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).

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