With Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits becoming common capital for two states - Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh, the Central government should allocate more funds to the GHMC as it has to shoulder greater responsibility, Mayor M Majid Hussain has said.
Presenting his budget at the 11th special budget meeting of the corporation on Monday, he said that as GHMC area would serve as the common capital and both the state Governments would be using the civic amenities available in the city, GHMC would also urge both the governments to provide liberal grants in view of the additional responsibility.
The general body has passed the budget of Rs 4,599 crore for the financial year 2014-15 compared to current financial year. It also approved the revised budget estimates for the current financial year of Rs 3,156 crore.
The Mayor said that budget increase is meant for introducing new schemes and initiatives after a thorough assessment of the requirements of the citizens. Further, GHMC has earmarked 1.5 crore to each corporator for 100 corporators wards in core areas and Rs 2 crore for 50 peripheral wards for taking up the works identified by the corporators. The funds would be released in two phases each 50 per cent. The budget for 2014-15 with a total outlay of 4,599 crore includes revenue expenditure of Rs 1,887.11 crore and expenditure of Rs 2,711.89 crore.
Under the capital receipts of Rs 2,711.89 crore including Rs 611.50 crore under Hyderabad Metro Rail project and Rs 300 crore to be raised from the issuance of tax-free GHMC bonds.
Higher allocations have been made for various capital works that include Rs 567.13 crore towards Land and Land Improvements, Bridges, Flyovers and Subways (`70.85 cr), Roads and Pavements (Rs 833.5 cr), Storm Water Drains (Rs 335.5 cr), Water supply and sewerage (`127 cr), Street lighting (`69.5 cr) and Housing (Rs 274.47 cr).
As the poor are unable to afford food, GHMC has proposed to introduce a novel food scheme in GHMC area by providing Rs 11 crore. At the 50 designated food centres, 300 poor persons per day in all would get healthy food.
GHMC will also launch a scheme of sports fellowship for 500 sportsmen in 18 disciplines by awarding them grants.
Unrealistic Budget, says Opposition
The TDP and the BJP termed the GHMC budget as unrealistic and jugglery of numbers. Four previous budgets were passed with fanfare but remained only on paper as the allocated funds for various developmental works were not spent by the officials. The Congress and MIM welcomed the `4,599 crore tax-free budget. TDP floor leader, Singireddy Srinivas Reddy described the budget as jugglery of words. BJP floor leader Bangari Prakash also criticised the budget and alleged that a populist budget was presented in view of the next general elections. Congress floor leader Diddi Rambabu demanded that responsibility should be fixed on the officials for the implementation of GHMC plans. MIM floor leader M Nazeeruddin praised it as a model, realistic and scientific budget.