BBMP Budget 2014-2015
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) presented the budget for the financial year 2014-2015 on February 17, 2014. While the draft budget was reviewed by the Standing Committee Chairman Dr. MS Shivaprasad for taxation and finance, he stated in his speech that their attempt was to make the budget as realistic as possible. According to the BBMP, the outlay of the budget is around Rs.8000 crore.
The budget for the financial year 2014-2015 estimated that the opening balance was Rs.48.09 crore and the receipts were Rs.7731.43 crore – all together Rs.7779.51 crore. However, out of the total amount, Rs.2661 crore are tax receipts and Rs.2260 crore are non-tax receipts. Similarly, the government grant is at Rs.1833.27 crore and other income is at Rs.976.85 crore. Thereby, constituting a total expenditure of Rs.7773.08 crore (of which Rs.2466.10 crore is revenue expenditure and Rs.5306.98 crore is capital expenditure). It was stated that BBMP’s budget for the financial year 2014-2015 constitutes more than Rs.6.43 crore.
The mayor said the budget includes very few infrastructural projects but has policies to create a thrust on the implemented projects followed by revenue mobilization. It was the first time ever the BJP administration presented the budget on time – before the ending of the current financial year. According to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, the budget should be approved by the council prior to the beginning of the financial year.
The stature of BBMP
Lately, the BBMP claims to be bankrupt and as per Dr. Shivaprasad, the BBMP is unable to meet the increasing demands in the city due to insufficient government grants. Therefore, he stated, in order to fulfill the citizen’s demands, the government should offer a total grant of Rs.5000 crore in the financial year 2014 – 2015. However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his budget (released on February 14) declared a total grant of Rs.1527 crore towards BBMP from the state – through the Nagarothana, 13th Finance Commission and State Finance Commission, Lake Development, and the Chief Minister’s Special Grant schemes.
Reactions over the presentation of the BBMP Budget 2014-2015
While the BBMP Budget 2014-2015 was widely appreciated and termed ‘realistic’ by the city Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, it also had adverse reactions from the opposition Congress and Janata Dal (S). The Mayor expressed that the budget aimed at improving BBMPs financial condition as it focused on the revenue generation, whereas the opposition parties patronized it, as it was released by the ruling party – BJP. Apart from them, city planner Naresh Narashimhan and Former Mayor and Congress leader P R Ramesh too criticized the BBMP budget as they wanted BBMP to be more innovative in strategizing the budget rather than copying the Chief Minister’s budget notes. They also stated that BBMPs huge asset possessions that fetch them no money have resulted in them pledging their own properties to obtain loans at higher interest rates. Revision of the lease on properties rented out at lower prices would have saved BBMP from getting into financial glitches. Another major reason for the criticism of the budget was the exclusion of newer infrastructural projects and the budget’s dependency on the state and union government for financial help.
Approval of the budget
While the BBMP Budget for the financial year 2014-2015 was presented on February 17, 2014, it was only after many discussions that the budget was finally approved on February 24, with minor changes. Although the outlay of the budget remains the same (Rs. 7,778.03 crore), few of the budget changes include;
* An increase in the Mayor’s grant from Rs.125 crore to Rs. 150 crore
* Allocation of Rs. 3 crore for the hiring of security personnel for BBMP schools and colleges
* Allocation of Rs. 2.5 crore to offer uniforms and sweaters to children from BBMP schools
* Allocation of Rs. 1.5 crore for the development if the Ambedkar playground in Dayanandanagar
* Allocation of Rs. 4 crore towards Kempe Gowda Museum
* Allocation of Rs. 1 crore towards the Kempe Gowda chair in Bangalore University
* Allocation of Rs. 40 crore as reserve fund towards the Taxation and Finance Committee
* Proposal of the construction of 10 replicas of the Kempe Gowda towers on the city outskirts.
However, the chair person of Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, M.S. Shivaprasad stated that the councillors should keep aside an amount of Rs. 10 lakh from their ward grants in case of any ward level emergencies. Also an amount of Rs. 5 lakh should be kept to provide facilities at the BBMP tailoring centres to be set up in their concerned wards.
Few of the inclusions in the BBMP Budget 2014-2015- Infrastructure
- The BBMP aims to provide basic amenities through the public-private partnership programme and will seek help from corporate houses to maintain parks, playgrounds, lakes, provide civic amenities, BBMP hospitals etc. There will also be 8 ‘welcome’ towers installed in eight different directions via a public-private partnership.
- To ensure better co-ordination amongst the civic agencies- BWSSB, BDA, BESCOM and BMTC, by forming a co-ordination committee with senior officials. As planned the committee will meet every month to discuss various issues.
- The BBMP offers various welfare schemes by earmarking Rs.503.08 crore apart from housing schemes for lower and socio-economic backgrounds. It has further proposed to extend financial help of Rs.6,000 to more than 20,000 auto rickshaw drivers (to install electronic meters with GPS), thereby to offer security to women passengers.
- The BBMP has proposed to extend 50 percent concession on property tax for people residing within one km of the garbage dumping grounds. Furthermore the BBMP has proposed to install recycling centres, segregation centres, composting units and bio-methanisation plants.
- The BBMP has increased the ward grants, with each ward under the older zones getting Rs.3 crore and new wards getting Rs.4 crore each.
- The Bengaluru history and traditions Museum will be constructed at the Freedom Park at the cost of Rs.3 crore.
- The TDR Bank will be formed in order to issue and manage the TDRs to widen the roads and improve other public projects, thereby helping in cutting down on the irregularities in land acquisition and issuing of TDRs.
- A dedicated group to protect BBMP assets will be formed. The group will identify and acquire illegally occupied BBMP properties.
- Hi-tech automatic e-toilets will be constructed in crowded areas such as bus stands, parks, markets etc.
- A flyover between Sirsi Circle and BHEL Circle will be constructed along with a steel bridge between Minerva Circle, Hudson Circle and Race Course Road, connecting the railway under bridge in Sheshadripuram among the few. Overall, there will be 4 major roads constructed in the city.
- The BBMP will spend Rs.500 crore to Rs.300 crore for widening and developing various roads.
- The BBMP has proposed Rs.10 crore for the new parking policy
- The BBMP will form a cell to collect taxes from about 2,000 high value properties.
- The BBMP will generate revenue through the betterment charges and the Akrama-Sakrama Scheme.
View the entire Karnataka Budget 2014-15 here = http://www.finance.kar.nic.in/bud2014/bhkaneng14.pdf