The local municipal council (MC) on Monday passed its budget for 2013-14 with an outlay of Rs. 35.12 crore. Except for SAD member Khraiti Lal Katna, no other member, either from the ruling BJP or the Congress, raised any objection or suggested amendment in the budgetary provisions, which were
passed 'unanimously' in the meeting presided over by Shiv Sood.
Katna accused the MC authorities of projecting wrong figures and concealing significant expenditures. In the preceding budget ending March 31, the MC had pegged its income at Rs. 31.65 crore but till January 31, it managed to collect Rs. 24.45 crore only.
It expects to cover the deficit in the remaining few days of the current financial year, but is silent as to how the target would be achieved. The MC proposes to spend Rs. 16.03 crore on establishment (46% of the budget), Rs. 17.88 crore (51%) on development and Rs. 1.2 crore (3%) on contingency.
It has earmarked Rs. 7.04 crore for 'other development works' without specifying the works.
The government has imposed property tax from last mid-November but there is no mention of this levy. The civic body, however, expects revenue of Rs. 2.6 crore from house tax. Value-added tax (VAT) is expected to rise from Rs. 18 crore to Rs. 22.2 crore. The MC had taken loan worth more than Rs. 4 crore to construct new office building and pays a big monthly instalment but the annual financial plan does not specify the head under which the money was being paid.
Terming the budget as misleading, Katna said the MC authorities had concealed more and revealed less. “It does not reflect the actual financial state of the MC that is on the verge of getting upgraded to a corporation,” he said. He demanded that the MC should explain why it had failed to meet the revenue targets. He alleged that in the financial year ending March 31, contingency expenditure was stretched beyond the sanctioned limit.