BDA donations under Lokayukta scanner

The Lokayukta has asked the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to explain the basis on which it donated crores of rupees to non-governmental organisations and a television channel.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report on General and Social Sector makes a mention of the donations made by the BDA.

The report was tabled in the Assembly last month. An official with the Lokayukta said that the BDA had been asked to give the explanation by April 30.

According to the report, during 2009-12, the agency donated Rs 10.19 crore to several organisations for the purposes not allowed under the BDA Act.

The donations were made from the Bangalore Development Fund which should be utilised for “charges incidental to the carrying out of purposes of the BDA”, including the cost of maintaining, lighting and cleaning of streets and the development of the Bangalore metropolitan area. The report further states that no receipts or documents had been maintained for these donations.

When contacted, BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhatt confirmed that he had received a letter from the Lokayukta seeking explanation for the donations made by the agency.
“Donations are made by all organisations and accounts are maintained with the government and the Public Accounts Committee. I need to go through the files to give the explanation,” Bhatt said.

Some of the beneficiaries of the BDA’s largesse are: Suchitra Film Society - Rs 51.26 lakh in 2011; Karnataka Rakshana Vedike - Rs five lakh in 2011, Rs 10 lakh in May 2012 (for Narayana Gowda faction) and Rs 10 lakh each in February and October 2013; Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association - Rs five lakh; Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy - Rs one crore; Rajyotsava Samithi of Vatal Nagaraj - Rs 10 lakh; News-9 TV channel - Rs 10 lakh for a walkathon to mobilise flood relief funds and Rs one crore for Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelan in 2011.

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