Uncertainty over GHMC Budget
Uncertainty over GHMC Budget, GHMC Budget, general body meeting, Mayor of GHMC, Mayor Hussain. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had proposed a budget estimate of about Rs 3,850 crore for the financial year 2014-15, on November 23, 2013.
- Move to introduce it in General Body meeting
- Cong corporators may abstain, resulting in lack of quorum
- They want the Mayor Majid to go and a Cong Mayor in his place
- Budget estimates of Rs 3,850 crore proposed
For the first time in the history of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the annual budget would be directly introduced in the general body meeting, on February 24. Though the budget was proposed as early as November 23, 2013, the standing committee which was supposed to discuss and approve the budget refused to do so. The Congress corporators in the standing committee had stated that they would discuss the budget only if their party candidate would take charge as the Mayor of GHMC as per an agreement made with MIM, nearly five years ago. The two-year term of the present Mayor Hussain expired on January 3 and he has not resigned as yet
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had proposed a budget estimate of about Rs 3,850 crore for the financial year 2014-15, on November 23, 2013.
Going by the rule book, the GHMC officials submitted the proposals to the standing committee for discussion. The committee members make changes in the draft budget and then it goes to the GHMC general body for approval. After the general body approval it would be sent to the government for ratification.
However, the standing committee refused to take up discussion on the budget citing the continuation of the Mayor, Majid Hussain, in office. According to an agreement between the Congress party and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party, the position of the Mayor was supposed to be shared by both the parties, i.e Congress for two years followed by MIM for two years and then the last year of the five-year term again by the Congress. However, Mayor Majid Hussain hasn’t resigned, though his two-year term had expired on January 3. This had irked Congress corporators who were vying and lobbying for the coveted post.
Congress corporators in the standing committee insist that they would not take up the budget discussion until their party candidate becomes the Mayor. It was exactly the same ploy used by the MIM corporators two years ago, when Banda Karthika Reddy was the Mayor. Due to this, the budget had not even passed the estimates stage.
Somesh Kumar, Commissioner of GHMC, reportedly had written to the state government twice seeking its advice. If the budget was not passed and ratified by the government in March 31, the GHMC would be left with no money even to pay its staff from April.
According to sources the government had advised the Commissioner to skip a few steps in the schedule and introduce the budget in the general body meeting. And it has been confirmed that the budget would be tabled for discussion at the general body meeting on February 24.
However, it would be interesting to see how Congress corporators would play out. There was every possibility that the budget might not be passed for lack of quorum if the Congress corporators chose to abstain from the meeting.
Budget highlights for the coming financial year
The GHMC officials have proposed budget estimates of Rs 3,850 crore for 2014-15 as against Rs 3,156 crore in 2013-14.
Of the proposed Rs 3,850 crore, Rs 2,110 crore has been allocated for capital expenditure. Out of these, nearly Rs 70.85 crore would be spent for flyovers, bridges and subways; Rs 533 crore for roads and pavements; Rs 172 crore for multi-modal transportation system; Rs 335 crore for storm water drainage; Rs 77.55 crore for water supply and sewerage; Rs 69.50crore for street lighting; Rs 274.88 crore for housing for poor; Rs 463.41 crore for land improvements; Rs 89.52 crore for buildings and other categories.
Under the revenue expenditure, about Rs 1739.12 crore has been set aside for meeting personnel cost, operational expenses, repairs and maintenance, programme expenses, administrative and finance expenses etc.
The GHMC has proposed to generate tax revenues of Rs 1,095 crore through property tax collections, Rs 728 crore from assigned revenues that include Profession Tax, Motor Vehicle Tax, surcharge on stamp duty and entertainment tax.