BBMP budget swells by Rs 360 crore

Ward level allocation sees an increase of upto rupees two crore

BBMP budget swells by Rs 360 crore

In talk: Women corporators engaged in discussion at the BBMP Council in Bangalore on Thursday. DH Photo

The ward level allocation saw an increase of rupees one to two crore for each ward along with a few additional grants for various infrastructure projects in the City.

Speaking to the media after the approval, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance, P N Sadashiva stated that the additional allocation would add upto Rs 360 crore by way of expenses and they had been covered under various heads in the budget proposal.

With the addition of Rs 360 crore, the BBMP increased its revenue estimates and presented a final revenue sheet of Rs 8,857 crore, he added.

Adjusting the revenue vis-a-vis the expenditure, Sadashiva said all the work will be undertaken only after the government approved the budget outlay. The BBMP will be sending the budget to the government for approval on Monday. On the final day of the budget session, the BBMP council was buzzing with activity as the Chairman of the Standing Committee and the Commissioner Siddaiah giving their replies to the queries raised by the corporators. Sadashiva assured the Council that the BBMP will find suitable measures to compensate any shortfall in revenue from Akrama Sakrama. The scheme is yet to get the Governor’s nod.

 “All precautions will be taken to accrue the amount of Rs 1,600 crore by way of property and advertising taxes,” he added.

With regard to private transformers proposed to be taxed, the Chairman said all those which were installed prior to April 1, 2010 will be taxed.

“We will also take strict action against the BBMP and BESCOM officials,” he added.

Property tax collection

Palike Commissioner Siddaiah, who took nearly an hour and a half to reply said the distant “dream,” as some corporators put it, of collecting Rs 1,500 crore property tax could indeed be a reality. However, the Commissioner admitted that there were loopholes in the revenue department.

According to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act 1976, the Commissioner had the powers to order verification of nearly 10 percent of the properties within the BBMP jurisdiction every year on whether taxes have been paid.

“We have nearly 18 lakh properties within our jurisdiction which can yield us the tax revenue. Of this we have already collected Rs 752 crore from 10 lakh properties in the last six months. We can definitely hope for more,” he said.

Mayor S K Nataraj said it was a people-friendly budget. “We will try to address all the issues and take the help of the State government to fulfil the promises,” he said.

Opposition leaders get more

By giving into the demands of the corporators, the Standing Committee increased the ward level allocation for both the Opposition leaders, M Nagaraj from Congress (I) and Padmanabha Reddy from JD(S), by nearly 100 percent.

Accordingly, Mahalakshmi Layout will get Rs 10 crore and Kacharakanahalli Rs 8 crore. Both these wards were given grants of Rs five crore each earlier.

Decisions

-BBMP properties not to be auctioned. Instead, they will be protected and leased out under the PPP model

-Ward level allocations to go up by nearly Rs 1 to 2 crore for each ward under special grants. Total outlay goes up by Rs 360 crore

-Deen Dayal health insurance scheme to be extended to sexual minorities

-Lessons on prominent leaders and freedom fighters to be included in syllabi for BBMP schools

Ulsoor corporator protests

The Congress (I) corporator from Ulsoor Uday Kumar staged a protest in the well of the BBMP Council against the demolition drive near Someshwara Temple.
However, the Mayor  S K Nataraj cut short the protest and said the budget session was not the right forum to discuss the issue.

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