The third annual budget of the Kochi Corporation Council, led by Mayor Tony Chammany, for the year 2013-14 will be presented on Saturday. Unlike the last two budgets presented by the current leadership, this year’s is expected to focus on feasible projects rather than capital-intensive ones.
“The budget should be prepared with a sense of reality. Every year, the civic body comes up with big projects that are not feasible. The projects should only be designed only after considering the revenue of the Corporation,” say experts.
According to sources with the Corporation, this year’s budget will give priority to increasing the efficiency of the services provided by the civic body.
“The e-Governance project is expected to be completed this year. It is necessary for the civic body to make steps to upgrade the existing facilities. The offices and service centres under it need to be upgraded. The budget is expected to make provisions in this regard,” said a Corporation official.
According to the official, along with new proposals, the Corporation authorities should take steps to increase the revenue and cut down its expenditure.
“For instance, with the increase in power tariff, the Corporation has to pay nearly `80 lakh a month for street lighting. This will amount to more than `9 crore annually, which is a huge amount. Considering the financial crunch the Corporation is facing, steps should be taken to implement projects like ‘Solar City’ that will help cut electricity charges,” he said.
He added that the budget should focus on sensible projects rather than
“For huge infrastructure projects, we will have to depend on the State Government for funds to meet the land acquisition cost. We couldn’t even carry out some ambitious projects mooted under JNNURM owing to the lack of funds for land acquisition. So, going behind new infrastructure projects will not be a feasible idea. Priority should be given to complete the projects that were proposed in the previous years besides some people-friendly initiatives,” the official added.