BENGALURU: With monsoon is round the corner and many civil works are waiting to be executed, officials of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are worried about the approval of the budget and by how much will it be revised. As the approval from the government is getting delayed, officials are worried that the budget outlay could be increased. They also fear that with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai busy with political issues, the approval could be further delayed.
The BBMP late on March 31, 2022, had released the budget for Bengaluru with an outlay of Rs 10,480 crore. The budget document is awaiting final seal from the CM, who is also the Bengaluru Development in-charge minister. “Usually the budget approval would be done by April end or May first week, but with the ongoing political developments and CM’s tours, we are not able to get the time to get his approval for the budget and clear his doubts, if any. Many MPs, MLAs and councillors were not happy with the budget document and outlay. They had wanted a bigger amount in the budget draft. It was cut down by over Rs 2,000 crore. Now with the delay, the disgruntled ministers could get their way and make matters worse for us,” said a BBMP official not wanting to be named.
The budget document of BBMP has been under regular controversies where the amount realised and the amount estimated have been different. The BBMP budget in 2021- 22 was Rs 88,048.13 lakh.
In 2020, against the proposal of the BBMP with the budget outlay of Rs 10,899.84 crore, the state government had escalated the cost and released a budget of Rs 11,715.2 crore. In 2019, after a long debate of three days in the BBMP council the budget of Rs 12,574.77 crore was approved and submitted to the government. The budget outlay in the BBMP council had increased by Rs 1,886.14 crore.
“If the outlay of the budget increases or decreases it will be a matter of concern. Since more emphasis is on tax collection and with elections approaching, we are worried that there could be changes in the scheme of affairs. The matter of converting B- khata sites to A- Khata is also dragging feet with the government, despite being announced in the state budget. As announcements are being made for the city, availability of funds is also a matter of concern. It becomes worrisome with the ongoing court litigations and other police inquiries,” the official said.