BJP, Cong spar over Palike finances

BJP, Cong spar over Palike finances

There was pandemonium in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council meeting on Tuesday, as the corporators from the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress traded charges against each other for the poor financial condition of the civic agency

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Prepared to take on the BJP, the Congress corporators attended the meeting sporting black ribbons on their shoulders to protest against the poor finances of the BBMP.

Launching the attack, leader of the Opposition Manjunath Reddy and corporator Gunasekhar demanded the tabling of this year’s administrative and audit report of the BBMP and the action taken reports on the previous administrative and audit reports. They stormed into the well of the House to press for their demand.

BJP corporator Padmanabha Reddy from Kacharakanahalli Ward triggered a controversy by blaming Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for the poor financial condition of the Palike. This led to an uproar, compelling Mayor B S Sathyanarayana to adjourn the Council.

When the meeting resumed after sometime, Reddy said the reduction in the stamp duty surcharge in 1996-97, the Palike lost Rs 20 crore. It is also not getting any share from road tax and entertainment tax.

He pointed out that the matching grants under the JNNURM scheme to avail Central funds also resulted in the financial crunch. The housing projects under the 22.75 per cent scheme also contributed to the mess. Besides, the Palike has been releasing the MLA grants for each Assembly constituency within the BBMP limits.

Rubbishing the charges, Jayamahal corporator M K Gunasekhar said the audit and administrative reports would have checked the financial mismanagement, but the ruling BJP never adhered to its mandatory duty of tabling the two reports.

Replying to the charges, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the administrative reports for the years 2007-08 to 2010-11 were ready to be tabled before the Council, while the reports for 2010-12 and 2012-13 would be ready in a month’s time.

‘Officers don’t obey me’

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike Commissioner M Lakshminarayana, on Tuesday, conceded that officials working under him do not obey his orders.

“It is true that officers are not taking my orders seriously. I warn them that if they do not abide by my instruction, I will suspend them,” Lakshminarayana said.

Discussing the Palike’s poor financial condition Congress corporator K Chandrashekhar raised the issue of officers who have been raided by Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force  (BMTF) and Lokayukta. He asked “why do we need IAS officers who cannot initiate action against corrupt officials. Despite such serious allegations you have not taken any action against them,” directed at Lakshminarayana.

Nandini Layout Corporator M Nagaraj (Congress) demanded explanation for having 48 people in town planning section. Nagapura Corporator S Harish (BJP) said “we have to identify who should be in town planning section. There are forest officers, clerks and mechanical engineers. They have no role but come with recommendations. Pass order for their removal and table action taken report tomorrow,” Harish said.

When the commissioner said he has deployed town planning officers for solid waste management and ward level works, corporators unanimously demanded their names and place where they have been deployed.

Lakshminarayana had to admit that he had ordered officers to join in the zonal offices of BBMP but none had reported.

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