Civic bodies in a haste to beat election dates

The municipal corporations are in a  rush to finalise their budgets to beat the  declaration of Assembly election dates, when the model code of conduct will come into force and they will be barred from announcing new schemes.

Councillors are also busy busy with inauguration of projects. “This is only fair when councillors are concerned about attending inauguration drives and officials are busy in inspections as asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Leader of Opposition in North Corporation, Mukesh Goel. 

“So they haven’t reached on time for discussing the Budget for the next financial year,” added Geol as the north civic agency’s Standing Committee meeting started half an hour late on Thursday.

Among the civic agencies, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation is ahead of other agencies as they plan to finalise the Budget by December 31.

“After the proposed Budget is passed with amendments in a Standing Committee, it is brought into the House for discussion in the respective municipal corporation,” said a senior official with East Corporation. 

“The east civic agency plans to introduce the Budget in the House meeting on December 22 and finalise it by December 31,” he added.

A North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said that the civic agency is in a haste to finalise the Budget. 

“The number of sittings of the Standing Committee has been reduced this year. Even the time for discussions on the Budget in the Standing Committee has been reduced,” the official added.

Revenue generation

The Leader of Opposition in the north civic agency said the revenue generation is on the decline since 2012. 

“The North Corporation generated around 2,924.43 crore revenue in 2012-13, which was 75 per cent of the estimated revenue proposed by the Commissioner,” said Goel. 

“The civic agency managed to generate 2,368.33 crore revenue in 2013-14, which is 45 per cent less than the estimated revenue,” he added.

One reason for the low revenue is that civic agencies have a dearth of officials. “When additional commissioners have been given charge of many departments, how can they focus on one department?” said Goel.

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