MUMBAI: In what may have opened the door to a conflict between the Congress-NCP and the Shiv Sena- BJP, the state government will now appoint its own official on deputation to audit the books of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The move follows an amendment to the Municipal Acts to enable the powerful post of the Municipal Chief Auditor (MCA), which is otherwise filled by officials from within the civic bodies, to be replaced by a state government official from the Directorate of Finance and Treasuries on deputation. The books of accounts will also be audited by Finance and Treasury Department officials.
The Shiv Sena and BJP control the purse strings of the BMC, which is the richest civic body in the country with a revenue surplus budget of `21,096.56 crore and has a major presence in the city affairs, including three medical and one dental college and even a sex museum.
From April 2012, when incumbent MCA P C Pisolkar retires, the BMCs accounts will be audited by an official not below the rank of the- Joint Director in the Directorate while it will be an official notbelow the rank of a Deputy Director for other civic bodies. Civic officials, who refused to be quoted for the story, said the move came in wake of the 13th Finance Commission asking for the strengthening and improvement of the audit process.
Though the decision will extend to all the municipal corporations in Maharashtra, sources admit that it will be more of an issue in the BMC considering its strong financial condition.