Corporators will participate from zonal offices
Over the years, Bengaluru’s municipal corporation has not exactly made a name for clean and efficient administration of the capital city of Karnataka. Now, ironically, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is set to create history of sorts by becoming possibly the first civic agency worldwide to present its budget through video-conferencing.
The reason is painfully obvious — the clear and present danger from the raging coronavirus rules out the slightest hope of the traditional, physical presentation of the annual fiscal exercise in the confines of the BBMP headquarters near Hudson Circle in the heart of Bengaluru.
Apart from 198 elected corporators, other nominees include MPs, MLAs, MLCs and nominated corporators — taking the total strength to more than 260. It goes without saying that in the current scenario, such a large number should not congregate at one central point to discuss and pass the civic budget, which is estimated at around Rs 10,000 crore.
As per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, the civic agency needs to present its budget during February but a draft should be submitted to the taxation and finance standing committee on or before January 16.
However, the administration under the civic commissioner did not send a budget copy either to the standing committee (which was not formed as elections were not held) or to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
As per information available with thebengalurulive, the draft budget was sent to the taxation and finance standing committee on March 3. But as the number of Covid-19 cases had started rising in Karnataka, the civic agency was forced to defer the budgetary exercise — the fifth and last of its current elected term
By April 1, the situation became so tight that the civic agency couldn’t spend a single rupee as it had not presented its budget, nor had it passed a vote-on-account.
Meanwhile, BBMP Mayor M Gautam Kumar and his colleagues made a representation to state chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar seeking a solution for presenting the civic budget in the current situation brought on by the pandemivc.
On Monday, the Urban Development Department gave its nod for BBMP to present its budget for the year 2020-21 through video conferencing.
Speaking to this website, Mayor Gautam Kumar said the taxation and finance committee chairman will present the budget in the coming week. Directions have been given to officials to make arrangements at all zonal headquarters so that corporators can attend the budget session through video conferencing.
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