BJP resolution to withdraw special spending powers for Mumbai civic body administration gets Sena support
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s standing committee on Friday approved a resolution moved by the Bharatiya Janata Party to take back the special financial powers given to the administration in March 2020 over the emergency expenditure owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The resolution was unanimously passed by the Shiv Sena-headed standing committee. All the parties, including the Congress and NCP, supported the resolution to take back the special powers. The resolution is now sent to municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal for his opinion.
Under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, former municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi had in March 2020 empowered certain officers to make financial decisions for the city for the period till the Act was implemented.
Last week, BJP’s group leader Prabhakar Shinde, wrote to BMC’s municipal secretary, allowing the party to move a resolution to revoke all special financial powers granted to municipal commissioners, additional commissioners and assistant civic commissioners to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The BMC has spent around Rs2,100 crore in the pandemic so far. These powers were given on the condition that the administration would submit a detailed account of all the spending. But so far, no details have been given by the administration. There has been massive irregularities and corruption in all Covid-related spending. Hence, we had moved a proposal to give back the powers to the standing committee as per the law,” said Bhalchandra Shirsat, BJP corporator and standing committee member.
“In the interest of transparency, BMC must restore the powers given to the standing committee,” said Ravi Raja, Congress Corporator and leader of Opposition in BMC.
Meanwhile, Yashwant Jadhav, standing committee chairman, said, “There was a proposal by BJP to take back powers that gave BMC’s administration the right to spend for Covid-19 mitigation without seeking the approval of the standing committee. The provision was made in March 2020, and now BJP proposed to revoke it. I have forwarded the proposal to Chahal for his approval.”