No new budgetary provisions for the development work in the civic budget, no new work order to be issued and no corporator could discuss anything, after presentation of the budget for the next year 2009-10 in the civic general body meeting. The budget will be presented before the general body meeting on February 26.
The situation arises for the first time in civic history.
However, corporators are upset over the administration’s step to pass the whole budget without discussion. Congress corporator Amin Patel said, “To express our views on the budget is our democratic right. How can the ruling parties in the BMC pass the budget without discussing anything?”
“The whole world knows that the code of conduct will be in force soon. In this case, the civic body should go for an interim budget like centre and later in June, they should come up with the remaining part of budget so that we could suggest few amendments. In any case budget has to be discussed in the general body meeting and pass,” Patel added.
The last interim budget was prepared for four months when the civic general election was scheduled in February 2007 and even in 2002. Mayor Shubha Raul had a meeting with the Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak and with group leaders of various parties over the budget.
Raul said, “We will present the budget as early as possible before the general body and if code of conduct is imposed, we will pass it without discussing anything. However, we will try to give chance to discuss as many corporators till then.”
Standing committee chairman Ravindra Waikar, however, claimed that he had included all corporators suggestions about the civic work and also incorporated Rs 510 crore budget provision. He stated, “As no corporators would include their suggestive works in the budget, after code of conduct I took initiative and have added it in the standing committee meeting.” While Amin Patel argued over it, he said, “It is not necessary that suggestions would be good, we may have different ideas about development.”
Phatak said, “We had a meeting with group leaders and took sanction from the standing committee for expenditure, we need. No discussion and budget amendments will happen if code of conduct is imposed.”