Palike takes poll position, tables please-all budget

BBMP budget 2019-20
Last Updated 18 February 2019, 20:11 IST

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike on Monday tabled a ‘please-all’ surplus budget for 2019-20, with an outlay of a whopping Rs 10,691.82 crore — said to be the highest in the history of the civic body.

The budget was presented by Hemalatha Gopalaiah, chairperson of the taxation committee, and it proposes new methods to mobilise revenue for the civic

Given the political uncertainty that looms large over the coalition government in the state and the poor track record of the government in releasing funds, BBMP opposition leaders and experts say it will be a tightrope walk for Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun and her team in implementing the budget.

Sources in the BBMP told DH that initially the civic body had resolved to present a budget with an outlay of Rs 8,900 crore.

However, the same was increased to a whopping Rs 10,688.63 crore by adding a bunch of welfare programmes and pinning hopes on the grants promised by the state government in its budget.

The budget outlay is up by Rs 562.34 crore, compared to the previous budget.

Allaying fears, the mayor said she was optimistic and confident of achieving what had been promised in the budget, besides going all out on tax defaulters.

However, for 2018-19, as against the set target of Rs 3,500 crore for tax collection in 2018-19, the BBMP could collect only Rs 2,500 crore. Only a month and a half is left for the financial year to end.

New initiatives

The mayor and her team attempted to paint a rosy picture of the city, while counting on every section of the society in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Several new initiatives like Mahalakshmi Yojane, commissioning of cancer-screening mobile laboratories, instituting a cash award in the name of Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami and allocating funds for the development of areas abutting the landfills across the city have been announced.

Some of the old programmes now have a new name, like the pink baby scheme being called Mahalakshmi Yojane, collecting tax from owners of mobile phone towers, introduction of bike ambulances, setting up of RO plants in every ward, funds for lake development and renovation of markets. Some of these programmes may clash with those of the MLAs as they have taken up similar works with assistance from the state government.

(Published 18 February 2019, 07:48 IST)

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