In an unexpected development, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) uploaded its budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year on its website late on Thursday night without any prior notice, moving away from the usual route of presenting it in the public eye. This comes days after it put out the announcement at the last moment on March 30.
In what seems to be a hasty save, the BBMP released its annual budget barely an hour Before March 31, which was the last day of the current 2021-22 financial year. As per Section 196 of the BBMP Act, the local body’s budget is supposed to be announced at least three weeks prior to the start of the next fiscal year. Accordingly, the Budget should ideally have been presented within March 10.
The Budget for the year 2022-23 has a total outlay of Rs. 10,484.28 crore with a surplus of Rs. 334.63 crore. While the revenue has been estimated at ₹10,478.7 crore, the estimated expenditure is ₹10,480.45 crore.
Around 35% of the estimated receipts (Rs. 3,680 crore) is tax revenue
22% (Rs. 2,302.23 crore) is non-tax revenue
4% (Rs. 436.01 crore) Union Government grants
34% (Rs. 3,576.59 crore) State Government grants
5% (Rs. 489.3 crore) is miscellaneous
According to estimates,
46% of the expenditure ( ₹4,838.26 crore) is for public works,
30% ( ₹3,148.12 crore) has been allocated to maintenance
12% ( ₹1,234.72 crore) is for personnel expenses
The BBMP also laid stress on property tax and cess, hoping to collect ₹3,680 crore from it, which is a major revenue source for the corporation.
The unprecedented move has left many surprised. Questions are being raised why the local poll body delayed the budget announcement to last minute and then secretly uploaded it.
In a statement to The Hindu, an MLA said, “Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds finance and Bengaluru development portfolios, had suggested some additions. The focus, the MLA said, was on parks, roads and other civic infrastructure works.”
The Budget was supposed to be presented on Wednesday, but was put off at the last minute over a dispute by certain ministers regarding the perceived allocation of funds to the Assembly constituencies represented by those who defected from Congress.
Meanwhile, the #MyCityMyBudget campaign by the BBMP in collaboration with the NGO Janaagraha has received 7,238 inputs in total by Bengaluru citizens on what the budget should focus on, with about 46% of the inputs calling for public toilets, 30% for footpath improvements and 24% for parks.