Representational image  (File photo| AP)
Representational image (File photo| AP)

17 outgoing senior Hyderabad civic officials gift themselves new iPhones amid financial crunch

The Standing Committee is the highest authority in the GHMC which approves all projects, development works and important policy decisions.

HYDERABAD: At a time when the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is reeling under a severe financial crunch, the Standing Committee has decided to buy a brand new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512 GB) for each of its 17 outgoing members, comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 15 others, who will be demitting office in February.

The cost of the said iPhone variant is roughly Rs 1.6 lakh, taking the total expense to Rs 27.23 lakh. The committee approved this proposal on Thursday at a meeting chaired by Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Rammohan at the GHMC head office. The Standing Committee is the highest authority in the GHMC which approves all projects, development works and important policy decisions.

When contacted, all the members were tightlipped about the good news and wore a deadpan expression. However, the exorbitant gifting idea has raised eyebrows, especially when the GHMC is finding it difficult to pay its staff and when it is known that the committee's term ends on February 10, 2021. 

For the last few months, the committee members had been demanding for iPhones for all corporators. But realising that buying the smartphone for 155 corporators and five co-option members - which would cost over Rs 2.50 crore - is too expensive, the committee members decided to restrict the privilege only to themselves.  

In another decision, it approved the draft budget of Rs 5,600 crore for 2021-22  as against the current fiscal’s Rs 5,380 crore, without making any changes. However, the current year budget has been revised to Rs 5,500 crore from Rs 5,380 crore - an increase of Rs 120 crore. 

As per the proposed GHMC budget of Rs 5,600 crore for 2021-22, which was approved on Thursday, the revenue expenditure is Rs 2,414 crore, while the capital expenditure is Rs 3,186 crore. Of the capital expenditure, about Rs 560 crore has been earmarked for a green budget, Rs 445 crore for land, Rs 1,582.51 crore for buildings, bridges, flyovers, roads and pavements, Rs 170 crore for storm water drains, Rs 131.87 crore for water supply and the remaining for streetlights, vehicles, and others.

Bomb of an expense

The GHMC Standing Committee has decided to buy a brand new Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512 GB) for each of its 17 outgoing members, comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 15 others, who will be demitting office in February. Each phone costs roughly Rs 1.6 lakh

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com