With the municipal corporation of Chandigarh approving Rs. 657-crore budget more than two months ago, the UT administration has not yet approved it, hitting the development works of the engineering department such as construction and maintenance of roads and other projects.
This is for the first time that the budget has not been approved even after two months. Interestingly, for the past three months 5,000 employees are being given salaries from the MC's fixed deposit kept for emergency use. Of Rs. 500-crore fixed deposit, the MC has already used Rs. 250 crore.
For the past two months contractors are regularly visiting the civic body for their payments, but have to return empty-handed.
When contracted, UT home secretary Anil Kumar said, “We raised some queries in the municipal corporation budget, which have been sorted out now. The file is lying pending with the UT administrator and will be approved soon.”
Deputy mayor Satish Kainth said, “It has happened for the first time that the UT administration has not approved our budget even after two months. We get the budget approval by March 31 every year, but the delay this year is badly affecting most of the development works.”
Moreover, the move to encash a few of its fixed deposits in the past would cost the MC a loss of a few crores in the 2013-14 financial year on the account of decreased interest. The MC would likely earn only Rs. 132 crore in 2013-14 as compared to Rs. 141 crore in the last fiscal.
MC chief accounts officer Deshraj, while giving reasons for the decrease interest amount, said, “As the MC has already encashed some fixed deposits there will be a decrease in the amount of interest earned. The MC was supposed to collect Rs. 21 crore, but managed Rs. 15 crore only on account of property tax.”
Refreshments for officers stopped
Due to non-approval of budget the refreshments for officers have been stopped. They have been directed not to waste money on refreshments and avoid other expenses too due to lack of funds.