BBMP waits for Govt largesse

Palike hopeful of release of pending grants

With Rs 2,300 crore in arrears to come as part of the budget presentations since 2008-09 till 2010-11, the BBMP has been able to wangle only Rs 200 crore of the State grants arrears from a miserly State government.

However, concerns still remain on whether the budget will allocate for BBMP its grant arrears adding up to Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 1,500 crore from 2010-11, Rs 500 crore from 2009-10 and Rs 300 crore from 2008-09).

Moreover, the BBMP is hoping that the State will sanction an additional Rs 500 crore for  its functioning as part of the new budget proposals in the year 2011-12.

The ruling party in the BBMP is now anxiously awaiting the Government’s declaration of budget to address its concerns over the possible shortfall in revenue, in the short run.

With Rs 1,000 crore collected only by way of property tax, surpassing all expectations, the Palike is sitting pretty with only development projects to begin in the near future.

Empty coffers

The BBMP, whose coffers are nearly empty, is struggling to make ends meet with revenue from aniticpated sources yet to be realised.

The meeting between Mayor S K Nataraj and Revenue Minister K Karunakara Reddy has sent signals of Palike’s distress over generating its own revenue by way of established resources. If it gets powers to collect the conversion charges for converting agricultural land for non-agricultural purpose, and also improvement charges for giving citizens the facilities from the Palike, the BBMP will generate upto Rs 800 crore.

This amount might help the Palike tide over debts and also carry out further projects.
The Palike is also awaiting the removal of legal hurdles to projects worth Rs 22,500 crore that are pending judgment at the High Court.

“If the projects are cleared then we can approach the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd for sanction of loans for the Rs 22,500-crore grand plan envisaged for Bangalore. Of that amount, at least 60 per cent of the project loans will be given to the BBMP to begin the projects,” said BBMP Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance P N Sadashiva.

But till then, it appears the Palike will be heavily dependent on the State government grants to run the City administration on a shoestring budget.

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