The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) could not achieve even half of the estimated receipts shown in its budget with just two-and-a half months left for the current fiscal to end.
The failure to achieve the estimated budget would plunge the civic agency into debt and may again see it mortgaging its properties. The revised estimated receipts in the Palike’s budget were Rs 9,355 crore, while the Palike could so far mop up only Rs 4,163 crore. Thus, the realisation of the budget is only 44.5%. Areas where it failed to achieve its goal are property tax, advertisement tax, government grants and non-tax revenue.
Based on the estimated budget, BBMP has taken up major infrastructure projects, ward-level works, maintenance of parks, playgrounds and solid waste management.
In addition, the Palike has to pay pending bills for spillover works running into more than Rs 4,000 crore.
According to data available with DH, the Palike expected a revenue of Rs 2,300 crore as property tax. But it could garner only Rs 1,683 crore despite a substantial increase in the tax rate from the current fiscal year and Rs 1.72 crore as advertisement revenue as against the estimated Rs 145.10 crore. The only advantage BBMP had this year is it earned Rs 90 crore as betterment charges.
However, Taxation and Finance Committee chairperson M K Gunashekar said, “We actually earned Rs 1,800 crore as property tax and Rs 20 crore as advertisement tax. We are in the process of updating our data.”
The shortfall in its actual receipts is not new to the Palike as it has never achieved the estimated budget after presenting unrealistic budgets year after year.
As a result, the civic agency is debt-ridden and had to mortgage many of its valuable properties, including the historic KR Market, Johnson Market, Russell Market and the Public Utility Building. It was also prepared to mortgage the historic Puttanna Chetty Town Hall. But the state government intervened and prevented the civic agency from doing so.
Padmanabha Reddy, BJP leader in the BBMP Council, said the Palike was trying to mislead people by giving false data. “The Palike has not achieved 44.5% of the estimated budget. It is much less,” Reddy said.
DH News Service
Receipt details Estimated budget Achieved
on major account heads as on Jan 10
Property tax Rs 2,300 cr Rs 1,683 cr
Advertisement tax Rs 145.1 cr Rs 1.72 cr
Government grants Rs 4,235.8 cr Rs 1,599.76 cr
Non-tax revenue Rs 1,607.42 cr Rs 728.69 cr
Bank interest Rs 32 cr