Congress-BJP in Blame Game Over Financial Indiscipline
By Express News Service | Published: 29th January 2014 07:42 AM |
BJP and Congress members on Tuesday pointed fingers at each other for the neck-deep financial trouble the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) finds itself in.
Wearing black armbands in protest, Congress members accused the BJP of not presenting annual audit and admin reports for many years.
Retaliating, Yediyur ward councillor N R Ramesh, belonging to the BJP, called for an open discussion to study under which party’s rule the BBMP faced more financial crises.
Meanwhile, former Opposition leader M K Gunashekar said section 61(3) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act mandated the submission of audit and admin reports.
“Had the ruling BJP presented any of the reports, we would not have seen this financial indiscipline,” he alleged. With the ball in the BJP’s court, Banashankari ward councillor A H Basavaraju alleged that audit reports had not been presented since 2001, when Congress was at the helm.
Chaos on the Floor
With Kacharakanahalli councillor Padmanabha Reddy blaming CM Siddaramaiah for the BBMP’s financial deadlock, Congress members stormed into the well and raised slogans against the BJP.
Unable to control the situation, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana adjourned the meeting for a while. When the meeting resumed, Reddy said earlier, the BBMP collected `30 crore in stamp duty surcharge but Siddaramaiah, who held the finance portfolio then, had slashed it.
“At present, if it is reimposed, the BBMP can collect Rs 300 crore. The BBMP has taken loans to pay for JNNURM grants, salary to its staff, for MLA grants and other expenses. We did not take loans to take money to our home. Let us meet the CM and seek Rs 1,000 crore in grants. The CM gave Rs 100 crore to Belgaum which has only three lakh population,” he suggested.
‘Audit and Admin reports Soon’
Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the admin report has not been presented since 2007. “The admin report for the years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11 can be placed before the Council any time. For the years 2011-12 and 2012-13, we are gathering information,” he said. The audit report, he said, is in various stages of completion and is being done by government auditors.