The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for the financial year 2022–23 is scheduled to be presented on March 30, Wednesday, according to a local media reports. However, the local body is yet to announce a date officially.
The budget announcement comes on the back of obscurity over the dates of its impending elections since September 2020 after the city council’s term expired. The Karnataka High Court had earlier directed the State Election Commission to schedule the polls for 198 wards within six weeks in December 2020. They were earlier scheduled for March, but have been delayed further.
“Some administrative problems will be resolved if the budget is announced within this financial year. Therefore, we have made preparations to announce the budget at 3:00 p.m. on March 30,” a BBMP official told Prajavai, a local news website.
The state government had recently issued a notification to the BBMP under the ‘Karnataka Local Fund Authorities Fiscal Responsibility Act – 2003’. The budget will therefore have to be drafted under the BBMP (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Rules) 2021, with its size being determined with the help of the four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Taking the previous year’s revenue as Rs. 4,000 crore, and the CAGR rate to be 10%, the revenue sweep would be calculated as Rs. 4,400 crore to be added to the budget size. The BBMP’s revenue has not exceeded Rs. 4,000 crore till date. Even with government grants, the budget size is not expected to exceed Rs. 7,000 crores, reports said.
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 BBMP was allotted a budget of Rs. 9,286.80 crore for 2021–22 financial year. The government had however increased the allocation to about ₹8409 crore in this year’s Karnataka Budget
According to a report earlier this month, the BBMP has outstanding bills of up to Rs. 3,000 crore for the year 2021-22. While officials are said to have cleared bills of up to Rs. 1,600 crore for the same year, reports said the civic body still has pending bills of Rs. 3,500 crore.
The report said, keeping in mind the announcements made in the state budget, some officials expect the BBMP’s budget outlay to be in the range of Rs. 9,000 crore, similar to last year, as its projects have not changed drastically.